EletiofeJude Bellingham speaks out against 'disgusting' racial abuse on...

Jude Bellingham speaks out against ‘disgusting’ racial abuse on social media

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  • Teenager played his last game for Birmingham on Wednesday
  • Police looking into social post about Dortmund-bound player

Jude Bellingham has spoken out after being racially abused on social media, posting a screenshot of the abuse and describing it as “disgusting.”

The 17-year-old played his final game Birmingham City on Wednesday evening in the defeat to Derby, before his move to German side Borussia Dortmund that could be worth up to €25m (£22.5m) to the Championship club. The offending post has now been deleted.

“Times have to change. More has to be done,” Bellingham said. “To not rate me as a player or even dislike me as a person is fine with me. But how someone can use my race and disgraceful stereotypes to criticise a decision I’ve made for my career is beyond me.”

West Mercia Police confirmed that they were looking into the social media post. In a statement, inspector Lee Page said: “The comments were reported to West Midlands Police earlier today and the case has been handed to West Mercia Police as the victim lives in our policing area.

“I can confirm that officers are thoroughly investigating these abhorrent comments and we have made contact with the victim and the victim’s family. I share the opinion of all right minded people that these narrow minded and disgusting comments have no place in society.”

Bellingham’s new club, Dortmund, also sent their own message of support, condemning the racism.

Borussia Dortmund
(@BlackYellow)

We strongly support and stand with @BellinghamJude who was subjected to racial abuse on social media. There is absolutely NO room for racism and all forms of discrimination at Borussia Dortmund.

#UnitedbyBorussia #NoToRasicm

July 23, 2020

Earlier on Thursday, Birmingham announced they are retiring Bellingham’s number 22 shirt, a move which has been met with disbelief even among the club’s own supporters. Bellingham has been with the Midlands club since the age of seven, and City felt moved to honour his time at the club by retiring his shirt.

“The 22 shirt has become synonymous with Jude, his rise to the first team aged just 16 years and 38 days,” a statement on the club’s official website read. “And as such the club have decided it would be fitting to retire this number, to remember one of our own and to inspire others.”

Bellingham made 44 appearances for the club, scoring four goals, becoming Birmingham’s youngest player and goalscorer last season when he established himself as a first-team regular in the Championship.

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