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Man bailed in racist tweets probe

A 22-year-old man has been released on police bail in connection with racist Twitter messages aimed at West Ham striker Carlton Cole, police have said.

The man, from Southend in Essex, was arrested on suspicion of a racially aggravated public order offence.

The footballer highlighted the messages on the social networking site, which he received following his side's defeat at Swansea at the weekend.

The 28-year-old player was targeted by the supposed Hammers' fan in two foul-mouthed postings after the side lost 3-0 in south Wales.

The comments, which the player retweeted from his @CarltonCole1 account, questioned his performance and used a racist term to describe him.

A police spokesman said: "A man from Southend who was arrested in connection with racist football tweets has been released on police bail while the investigation continues.

"The 22-year-old man was arrested on Sunday August 26 following the tweets to West Ham player Carlton Cole. He has been released on police bail until Friday September 28 pending further inquiries."

Following the postings, Cole took to the social networking site himself to criticise his abuser. He said: "Listen, I take racism a lot lighter than others and I do understand the banter that comes along with it to get under people's skin, but it can sometimes be hurtful and insulting.

"I don't mind when people criticise me for having a bad game or they think I'm crap at football but just say that. Whether I am crap or had a bad game has nothing to with my race, creed or religion. let's just keep it FOOTBALL. Kapeesh?"

Fellow West Ham players Matt Jarvis, Kevin Nolan, and Guy Demel were also subjected to abuse.

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