Man arrested over online racist abuse of footballer Romaine Sawyers

West Bromwich Albion v Crystal Palace - Premier League
West Bromwich Albion v Crystal Palace - Premier League

Police have arrested a man suspected of racially abusing West Bromwich Albion footballer Romaine Sawyers online.

West Midlands Police said a 49-year-old man from Kingswinford, near Birmingham, was questioned in custody on Friday evening.

The force's football hate crime officer is also investigating reports of another racist comment towards the player.

West Brom contacted police after Sawyers was sent a racist message during Tuesday's 5-0 defeat to Manchester City.

A club statement said: "Albion will offer Romaine the relevant support required at this time and continues with its long-standing commitment to help rid football of racism."

Albion boss Sam Allardyce also offered his support to Sawyers and questioned what could be done to stop online abuse.

He said: "It leaves a big question about whether reporting it is enough. Romaine – or any black person across the country – should not have to be open to any type of abuse on social media.

"He is extremely upset, as anybody would be. More than Romaine have suffered throughout football in the last few days.

"Social media sites need to act in a more responsible way. We have to do our best to cut this out."