Wigan Athletic 'appalled and angered' by Nathan Byrne incident

Nathan Byrne during the game in question
Nathan Byrne during the game in question

Wigan Athletic have released a statement in response to the prosecution of a man for racially abusing Nathan Byrne earlier this year.

Max Goodinson, a 20-year-old business management student from Springwood Road, Sheffield, South Yorkshire, pleaded guilty to a charge of sending a grossly offensive racist message via a public communications network.

Goodinson would have won £270 on Bristol City to beat Latics, but Byrne’s injury time goal meant the match was drawn 2-2.

It was revealed he published the remarks while drunk and later sent an apology to Byrne and contacted the police.

"Wigan Athletic have been informed that a man has been prosecuted by the Crown Prosecution Service for sending, by means of public electronic communications network, a message that was grossly offensive or of indecent, obscene or menacing character, following a tweet to Latics defender Nathan Byrne earlier this year," the statement read.

"The defendant, Max Goodinson, 20, from Sheffield, pleaded guilty and was ordered to do 200 hours’ unpaid work and pay £100 compensation to the player and £170 costs at Blackpool Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday (6th).

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

"Wigan Athletic promote equality and diversity within our organisation and amongst our community, and were the first EFL club to be awarded the Premier League Equality Standard Intermediate Level."

Latics executive chairman Darren Royle said: “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.”

Kick It Out added: “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.”