Chelsea fan banned for 10 years for antisemitic tweets to reporter

Soccer team says that it strives to "ensure everyone feels safe, valued and included."

Tags: Chelsea
Dan Verbin ,

Chelsea Football Club with Israeli soccer players
Chelsea Football Club with Israeli soccer players
Shahar Azran

Chelsea Football Club, a professional UK soccer team based in Fulham, London, has banned one of its fans for the next decade after he was issued a three-year restraining order for sending vulgar anti-Semitic messages to a Jewish reporter.

Sam Mole was hit with the restraining order in February after being accused of sending the antisemitic messages to freelance Chelsea reporter Dan Levene, some of which reportedly bemoaned the fact that he had not been murdered in the Holocaust and wished him dead.

The man, a trainee teacher from Kettering, has reportedly expressed remorse for his behaviour, according to the Independent.

He was not given any further penalties by the court during his February trial due to a technicality, as he was in Australia on vacation and away from their jurisdiction during the period in which he allegedly tweeted the torrent of anti-Semitic abuse to the Levene.

After the conclusion of the court proceedings, Chelsea made the decision to ban him for 10 years, reported BBC Sport.

"Everybody at Chelsea is proud to be part of a diverse club. Our players, staff, fans and visitors to the club come from a wide range of backgrounds, including the Jewish community, and we want to ensure everyone feels safe, valued and included,” said Chelsea in a statement.

The team said that society, as well as the sports world, should strive to create an environment where “hateful and discriminatory actions” are as unacceptable online as they would be “on the street.”

"As a club, we will continue to take action against individuals or groups who produce or disseminate social media posts that contravene these values,” they said.

Levene told BBC Sport that he’s “delighted” with the outcome of the team’s investigation.

“It sends a very strong message that abusive and anti-Semitic behaviour online is unacceptable,” he said.

He hoped that his case would lead to an improved process for future incidents so that teams would take action in a timelier manner.

“This is a good day for the fight against racism in (soccer),” he said.



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