UK football fan sentenced to 8 weeks for cyber racism
West Bromwich Albion midfielder Romaine Sawyers racially abused on Facebook by Simon Silwood
A football fan in the UK was sentenced Thursday to two months in prison for cyber racism against West Bromwich Albion midfielder Romaine Sawyers, according to media reports.
Sky News said West Brom fan Simon Silwood, 50, was jailed by Birmingham Magistrates' Court for a racist Facebook post that targeted Sawyers in early 2021.
"This is, Mr. Silwood, a serious offense. There is no place for racism or racist abuse online. This clearly in my view crosses the custody threshold," said judge Briony Clarke.
Sawyers, 29, who moved from West Bromwich Albion to Stoke City on loan for this season, was aware of the post after Manchester City hammered West Brom 5-0 on Jan. 26.
Silwood denied the offense and claimed that after the defeat he meant to text that Sawyers should win the "buffoon d'Or", a sarcastic reference to the Ballon d'Or – an annual prestigious football award given to the world's best player.
He blamed it on a misspelling on his device and said his post autocorrected "buffoon" to "baboon."
West Bromwich Albion said the English club welcomed the court's sentence and banned Silwood for life after his conviction on Sept. 9.
UK-born Sawyers is a citizen of Saint Kitts and Nevis -- an island nation in the West Indies.
Sawyers has made 64 appearances for West Bromwich Albion and played for the club's Under-23 team.
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