Chris Wilder: Police looking at 'disgusting' abuse at Blades players

Chris Wilder reveals the police are investigating ‘cowardly, disgusting and inhumane’ social media abuse of Sheffield United players as he says ‘a line has been stepped’ over by online trolls this season

  • Several Premier League players have been the subject of recent online abuse
  • Players who have reported abuse include Marcus Rashford and Antonio Rudiger 
  • Referee Mike Dean and his family also received death threats over the past week
  • Chris Wilder says Sheffield United are working with police to combat abuse 

Chris Wilder has revealed Sheffield United are working with police to deal with social media abuse aimed at the club’s players this season.

The Blades boss gave his impassioned views on online abuse aimed at players, coaches and referees on Tuesday afternoon, speaking ahead of his side’s FA Cup fifth-round tie against Bristol City at Bramall Lane.

Players such as Manchester United duo Marcus Rashford and Axel Tuanzebe, Chelsea’s Antonio Rudiger and West Bromwich Albion’s Romaine Sawyers have all reported online abuse from social media in recent weeks. 

Chris Wilder claims Sheffield United are working with the police to combat social media abuse

Anthony Martial (left) and Marcus Rashford (right) have reported recent social media abuse

Wilder condemned abuse on social media as ‘cowardly, disgusting and inhumane’. 

The Sheffield United boss said: ‘I’m not going to talk about it in detail but there’s ongoing stuff at our club with the police. That’s as much as I’ll say and I don’t think the police should be dealing with it, but they’ve been brilliant.

‘Sometimes it crosses the line and it has at our football club, hence the situation we’re dealing with. There’s arguments, banter and debate and people don’t agree with each other, but there’s a line and it’s been stepped over for everyone.’ 

Police forces across England have vowed to investigate the several cases of online abuse from social media users towards football personalities. 


Other players such as Axel Tuanzebe (left) and Alex Jankewitz (right) have been victims of online abuse as well

Greater Manchester Police announced they will be looking into recent abuse towards Rashford, Tuanzebe and Anthony Martial, while Hampshire Police revealed they will look into messages to Southampton teenager Alexandre Jankewitz.

One man was arrested last week for the racial abuse of West Bromwich Albion midfielder Romaine Sawyers after his side’s recent 5-0 loss to Manchester City.

Furthermore, referee Mike Dean and his family received death threats following several controversial officiating incidents in the past weeks. 

Merseyside Police confirmed on Monday that they had received noticed of the abuse towards the referee and vowed to bring those responsible to justice.

Referee Mike Dean and his family were sent death threats after recent refereeing displays

It was confirmed on Tuesday that Dean will not referee a Premier League match this weekend (February 13-15) after he asked to withdraw from the spotlight due to the death threats.  

Wilder continued: ‘Players, coaches and referees are doing their best, they don’t deserve it. It’s disgusting, the individuals need nailing and I wish I could nail them in my way, but I won’t be allowed to.

‘We’ve all been subjected to the abuse and I think it’s cowardly, disgusting and inhumane. We’ve all suffered and shouldn’t have to. It isn’t football and it isn’t life, no-one should be able to get away with it.

‘There’s stuff at the club that I can’t discuss that players have received and it’s not acceptable.’




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