Kick it Out praise prosecution after Wigan midfielder Byrne targeted with racist abuse

Kick It Out has praised police action after a 20-year-old man was prosecuted for sending a racially-aggravated comment to Wigan defender Nathan Byrne on social media earlier this year.

Max Goodinson pleaded guilty for sending, by means of public electronic communications network, a message that was grossly offensive or of indecent, obscene or menacing character, to Byrne in April.

Goodinson was ordered by Blackpool Magistrates’ Court to do 200 hours’ unpaid work and pay £100 compensation to the Wigan defender and £170 court costs.

The incident occurred after Byrne scored a stoppage-time equaliser against Bristol City on April 6, which resulted in Goodinson losing his bet.

The anti-discrimination body said: “We welcome police action against anyone who posts racist comments on social media and hope that this case sends out the signal that there is no hiding place – and no excuse – for hate speech like this.”

Byrne posted a screenshot on his Twitter account of a sickening message he received following the Latics’ 2-2 draw at Ashton Gate.

After being made aware of the tweet, Wigan notified Twitter and Greater Manchester Police, who worked with Lancashire Police, to identify the person responsible.

Wigan executive chairman Darren Royle said in a statement on the club’s website: “We were appalled and angered by the message Nathan received and reacted immediately to ensure the offence was reported to the respective authorities immediately.

“There is no place for discriminatory abuse in society, and football and sport are no exception to that fact.

“I am proud of how our supporters challenged this behaviour immediately, there is obviously still work to do to eradicate discriminatory behaviour completely, as we see recent reports of discriminatory abuse at football matches, but it should be known that here at Wigan Athletic there is zero tolerance and we will react seriously to any reports of discrimination.”

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