Man, 22, due in court over racist abuse sent to Everton player

A man is due to appear in court in connection with racist abuse sent to Everton player Yannick Bolasie.

Police Scotland confirmed a 22-year-old man had been charged following enquiries into a sickening message sent to the winger online.

He is expected before Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court today.

The investigation followed a message sent to Mr Bolasie over Instagram.

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The 31-year-old, currently on loan at Middlesbrough, shared the vile post on Twitter, writing: " Something seriously wrong with people…Keyboard warriors. Still yet to meet a person who had this energy when they saw me."

His post prompted hundreds of supportive comments as followers condemned the abuse.

Yannick Bolasie of Everton on the ball during the Premier League match between West Ham United and Everton at London Stadium on May 13 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Tony McArdle/Everton FC via Getty Images)

Middlesbrough also issued a strong statement on the incident, calling for the relevant authorities to take action.

The club's statement read: "Middlesbrough FC has re-emphasised our zero-tolerance attitude towards discrimination of all forms.

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"The racial abuse directed to Yannick Bolasie on social media yesterday is vile and unacceptable, and demonstrates exactly why more has to be done to identify the perpetrators of such comments and to bring them to justice.

"The matter has been reported to the relevant authorities by both Yannick and ourselves and he has our full support.

"It is of great concern to the club that we are witnessing behaviour of this type and it cannot be allowed to continue.

"As our players said when responding to the debate on taking the knee we now need to see demonstrable actions from those who have the power to implement them rather than further gestures. Actions must speak louder than words.

"We repeat that we will not tolerate abuse of any form and any individuals who are identified to us will not only face the prospect of criminal charges but will also be banned from the Riverside Stadium.

"The MFC family stands together as one to unite against all forms of discrimination."

Today, seven days after Mr Bolasie shared the abuse he received online, a Police Scotland spokesperson said: "A 22-year-old man has been arrested and charged in connection with a racially aggravated comment posted online. He is expected to appear at Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court on Wednesday, March 17, 2021."