Renee Hector ‘sank into depression’ after online abuse following racism case

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Hector ‘sank into depression’ following online abuse

The player who suffered the first recorded case of racist abuse in women’s professional football has no regrets about reporting it despite “sinking into depression” as a result of subsequent online abuse.An independent Football Association regulatory commission found that Tottenham defender Renee Hector was racially abused by Sheffield United’s Sophie Jones during a Championship match in January. Jones was banned for five games and fined £200 but denied allegations she made monkey noises towards Hector.The forward, whose contract at Sheffield United was terminated by mutual consent in March, told the BBC: “I’m not a racist.” Hector, who has since joined Charlton Athletic, says that, as a result of the case, she was was sent pictures of baby gorillas and abused about her weight. The 24-year-old believes harsher punishments should be administered for racist abuse in football and more support should be offered to semi-professional players like her. But she hopes Jones, who was found by an FA hearing to have lied to “conceal wrongdoing”, can learn from her mistake. Speaking about the incident for the first time, Hector says the abuse started with accusations of her of “playing the race card” and increased when “unflattering pictures” of her appeared online. “The online abuse affected me really deeply, but it wasn’t just me, it affected my family and really affected my mum,” Hector told BBC Sport. “I was just spiralling out of control, basically, I started sinking into depression because there were lots of insecu

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