MK Dons say they are “appalled” after their forward Chuks Aneke was the subject of a racist social media post on Sunday.
The post was published on Instagram following Dons’ 2-1 defeat to Tranmere the previous day and was allegedly uploaded by a Rovers supporter.
Dons described the abuse in a statement as “totally disgusting and unacceptable”, while in a separate statement Tranmere insist they have a “zero tolerance of hate crime” and say they have referred the post to the police, vowing to impose bans if any of their fans are involved.
A statement from MK Dons said: “MK Dons is aware of a racist social media post, made on Sunday 14 April, which was directed at one of our players, Chuks Aneke.
“Needless to say, the club is appalled at the nature of this totally disgusting and unacceptable post. The individual responsible must be held to account and we will play our part in working towards that outcome.
“Like many in the game, MK Dons are distressed by the increasing number of racism incidents which are sadly, and once again, tarnishing football.
“As well as providing Chuks with whatever support he needs, we will continue to work with our players, our supporters, and all those in football, as well as others in society, so that together we can eradicate all forms of discrimination from our game.”
Former Arsenal trainee Aneke, 25, played the full match at Prenton Park, where the Dons were beaten by one of their rivals for automatic promotion from League Two.
A statement from Tranmere on Sunday night said: “Earlier this evening, [we] were made aware of a racist social media post which we have already referred to the police and we shall provide them with all of the assistance they require to investigate the matter.
“In addition, we have already commenced our own enquiries and, in the event that the racist comment involves one or more of our fans, we shall not hesitate to issue the appropriate bans.
“We have a record of zero tolerance of hate crime and such behaviour has no place in our club or in football.
“Until the police investigation and our own enquiries have been completed, the club will be making no further comment.”
Additionally, Notts County have imposed “indefinite club bans” on some of its supporters following social media abuse, with one “particularly malicious tweet” reported to police.
Magpies players and owner Alan Hardy have been heavily criticised this season as the League Two club struggles financially and faces the possibility of relegation from the Football League.
The club said a number of comments “overstep the line between fair criticism and vile, threatening abuse.”
The news follows a series of instances of racism rearing its head in football in the past few weeks.
England duo Danny Rose and Callum Hudson-Odoi were targeted with monkey chants during the Euro 2020 qualifier away to Montenegro last month. Rose has since said he cannot wait to see the back of football, because he does not feel enough is done within the sport to combat racism.
Last week Chelsea supporters were filmed singing an Islamophobic song about Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah, while Greater Manchester Police are investigating anti-Semitic chanting by a group of West Ham supporters on a tram in Manchester on their way to Old Trafford to see their side face United in the Premier League.