Lauren James: Chelsea forward ‘not in good place’ after ‘disgusting’ abuse, says Emma Hayes

13 December 2023 0 By Total Football News

Lauren James playing for ChelseaChelsea have condemned the online racist abuse of Lauren James, who has played for the club since 2021

Lauren James is “not in a good place” after being subject to “disgusting” and “unacceptable” online racist abuse, says Chelsea manager Emma Hayes.

Chelsea released a statement strongly condemning the abuse on Tuesday.

And on Wednesday Hayes added that the language used to “vilify” James online was “unacceptable”.

“I think it’s disgusting, the amount of abuse she’s received from the public, from the media, from the press,” said Hayes.

“I don’t see the same level of abuse attributed to other players in the league who’ve had their own challenging moments.”

Hayes suggested that James could be subject to more abuse than other players because of her race.

“Some of the derogatory and misleading conversations that are happening during commentary, during the games, on social media, is something everybody should reflect on,” Hayes said.

“We’re talking about a young player here that’s always working to learn in the background.

“I think it’s fair to say that if I’m in her position, I’d be thinking that there is racial profiling going on.”

James was also the target of online abuse in 2021 when playing for Manchester United.

England joined Chelsea in condemning the abuse received by James in the aftermath of Saturday’s match.

Asked how James was, Hayes said: “She’s not in a good place if I’m honest.

“I think you have to realise for a young person in a day and age where social media is unbelievably vitriolic, some of the nasty language and labelling and name-calling I think goes over the edge.

“Then you add racism to that for her and you can understand why her mental health is not in the very best place for her this week.

“It reminds me very much of David Beckham in many ways when he got red carded in the World Cup [against Argentina in 1998].”

James received a red card at the Women’s World Cup after stamping on Michelle Alozie in England’s game against Nigeria.

A Fifa report said on Monday that one in five players received online abuse at the World Cup.

Hayes said that James is working hard on learning how to handle her emotions.

“She was a young player, she made an error in the summer, of course she needs to keep learning those things but it is always ongoing work,” Hayes added.

“Of course every opponent tries everything possible to get Lauren red carded, that’s been clear in every game we’ve played.

“She has to learn to handle that, she has to learn to do that because when she gets antagonised in a certain way, managing emotions comes with maturity and that isn’t there yet with her.”

Chelsea face BK Hacken in the Champions League on Thursday (20:00 GMT).