Derrick Williams has opened up for the first time on the racist abuse he received from a supporter online, admitting: ‘it does affect you, I don’t care what anyone says’.

Rovers suspended an individual from attending matches at Ewood Park after the defender received racist abuse on social media.

Receiving the message from one of the club’s supporters made it even more disturbing to Williams who was also disappointed not to have been contacted by anti-racism organisation Kick It Out.

However, the 25-year-old praised the club for the stance they stood when the issue came to light.

It comes following a number of high profile incidents this season, with several England players having reported abuse during their Euro 2020 qualifier in Montenegro last month. Only last week in the Championship, a Brentford supporter was arrested over abuse aimed at Derby winger Duane Holmes, while Wigan’s Nathan Byrne was also subjected to abuse on social media.

Speaking to the Lancashire Telegraph, Williams said: “It was difficult, especially because it was from one of our own fans.

“It really annoyed me and got under my skin to be fair.

“You see it so much, it’s sad to see.

“I don’t know what people are going to do to try and prevent it. It’s a tough one.

“But it did affect me massively, particularly with it being our own fan.

“The club has helped me a lot with that, with their ban, and it was good to see the club react the way it did.

“Personally I would have liked to see more from the Kick It Out group, they didn’t contact me or anything like that.”

The defender, who signed for the club in 2016 from Bristol City, was brought up in Ireland having been born in Germany to an Irish mother and American father.

Tottenham and England full back Danny Rose said earlier this month he couldn’t wait to retire from the game because of the level of abuse he has received.

Williams says money shouldn’t come in to the conversation over footballers taking a stance about racism, but acknowledges as a footballer he is a privileged position.

“He added: At the end of the day we’re all human beings.

“I’m privileged to get this chance to play football and I’m so grateful for that.

“When you have idiots come and say things like that, it does affect you, I don’t care what anyone says.

“Danny Rose, people are laughing about what he said about finishing football, but that shows how it affects him.

“People say ‘oh yeah but you’re getting paid a lot of money’ but money isn’t everything.

“We’re privileged to get paid what we do, but when you’re constantly getting abused, mentally, I don’t think it’s worth it.

“At the end of the day, you see what people do when they don’t have good mental health, so it’s a touchy subject and difficult to know where to go.”

Williams feels it was important to make a stance when receiving the comment, which he branded unacceptable.

“I feel we do,” the Republic of Ireland international said when asked if he felt it was important players brought these issues to light.

“I could easily have seen that comment and could have just let it slide.

“But I thought ‘no, why should I?’

“This is not good enough. He deserves a ban, at least, and I wanted people to know that it’s not acceptable just to comment on social media and think they can get away with.

“I don’t know why they feel so entitled. I don’t go to their way and call them racist names.

“It’s just small-minded people. They are not very educated.”