Race hate cowards have targeted a soccer star’s kids in a sickening new low.
Ex-Kop idol Djibril Cisse is fuming at the ordeal of Cassius, 13, and Prince, 11.
Horrified mum Jude today slams the “pathetic cowards” who targeted her sons with a string of racial abuse.
The ex-wife of Liverpool icon Cisse was appalled at the level of abuse in intimidating social media messages.
One taunt was a nasty reminder of a match where rival fans hurled bananas at Cisse, 37.
Police are probing the attacks on the striker’s sons – both football stars in the making.
And reality TV star Jude is speaking out to defy the thugs and reveal how an issue which plagues soccer has plumbed new depths.
Speaking to the Sunday Mirror, with her sons by her side, Jude says: “The abuse my boys have suffered is beyond belief. What kind of sick individual would target a child like that? It has left them talking about the colour of their skin and feeling different.”
One message to Cassius – who plays for Crewe Alexandra Academy – makes a racial slur alongside three laughing-crying emojis.
Prince – a youth team player at Liverpool – also received a string of shocking messages via Instagram in recent days.
They were sent as Tottenham star Danny Rose went public over his despair at soccer’s inability to tackle racism effectively.
Jude, 43, says ex-husband Cisse is “absolutely fuming” at the attacks on his boys and is “fully supportive of the ongoing investigation”.
He and Jude have a third son – nine-year-old Marley Jackson, who also plays for Crewe.
Cheshire Police’s cyber unit is probing whether a racially aggravated public order offence has been committed. The abuse came from different IP locations and multiple user names. The culprits – or possibly a lone ranger trying to blur the footprint of abuse – remain at large.
Jude says the episode has rocked her, but she is determined to stay strong for her boys. She adds: “I have to stand up to it for the sake of them. I want to send a clear message that racism and online abuse is not, and will never be, acceptable.”
Jude has also been trolled mercilessly. One message to Cassius called him an “ugly ****” and made lewd claims about Jude’s sex life.
Another chilling message to Cassius read, “I feel sorry for you” – before making a sickening slur about his race.
Jude adds: “He started reading aloud and got a few lines in before I snatched the phone away. I couldn’t believe what I was reading. I was shaking.”
She reported the messages to police and Instagram and was invited to bring Cassius in to speak to cops.
“I didn’t tell him where we were going because I didn’t want to scare him,” she says. “I told him that, extremely sadly, these things happen.”
To her horror, Prince was targeted just days ago while they enjoyed a family holiday in Marrakech, Morocco.
He rushed into her bedroom to show her the thread, sent via Instagram last Monday.
Jude goes on: “The messages were horrendous, I was utterly horrified. My boys are now conscious of being treated differently. They are talking a lot about the colour of their skin and feeling different.”
Detectives will also speak to Prince but Jude realises the chance of finding the culprits are slim.
She admits: “I was told that online crime is happening faster than the cops can catch it. It’s so hard to track down trolls when these people are taking steps to make sure they’re untraceable.”
Former WAG Jude and Cisse divorced in 2014 after a nine-year marriage. While he now plays for Italian side A.C. Vicenza 1902, she still lives in Cheshire at Frodsham Manor.
When Cisse bought it he acquired the title Lord of the Manor of Frodsham – and former hairdresser Jude, who hails from Wales, uses the name “Lady Jude” in lighthearted online forums. She is a model and was in a string of celebrity TV specials including Come Dine With Me.
Ex-husband Cisse earned cult status with his goals for Liverpool from 2004 to 2007 – and his barmy haircuts. He also played for Sunderland and QPR. Sadly, the abuse aimed at their boys is nothing new to Jude and former French international Cisse.
Jude explains: “I watched him everywhere, from Champions League matches to the World Cup.
“I’ve stood in a 66,000 crowd listening to racist chants aimed at him. When Cassius was a lad, we saw rival fans throw inflatable bananas at Djibril. It made me protective of my sons and vow to always talk to them about race.”
In the meantime, Jude says her boys have a “fantastic support network” and she has alerted teachers to the problem. She adds: “The Crewe Alexandra and Liverpool academies are vehemently anti-racism and working with the Kick It Out campaign. All the kids are encouraged to speak out about anything amiss.”
But she is adamant that she and the boys will continue using social media, saying: “Their accounts are linked to my phone so I get notifications, which I monitor. I have their passwords and I will continue to post.
“Why should we be punished or miss out because of these pathetic cowards? That puts the onus on us, the victims, to change when the focus should be on cracking down on trolls.”
And Jude adds her support to the likes of Rose and fellow England star Raheem Sterling as they call for more action to tackle racism. She says: “This is so important. It needs to be stopped. Nobody should have to deal with it.”