Antonio Rudiger has called for football authorities to do more to tackle racism in the game, warning that a lack of punishment for fans and clubs could be seen as a tacit acceptance of racist chanting.
Roma fans directed racist chants at Rudiger in the Champions League last season, with UEFA failing to charge the Italian club – despite opening a case after the incident.
Quoted by BBC Sport at a Chelsea Foundation equality and diversity workshop, Rudiger said: "They need to do more, if they don't do more they're the same as the people doing it. Maybe sometimes they think it's hard to punish their fans but at the end of the day, to me, it's a clear sign that you're accepting it."
The Roma chants last year were not the first that Rudiger had experienced while playing an Italian team – with Lazio fans targeting him in 2017 when he was playing for Roma in the Rome derby at the Stadio Olimpico.
"I dealt with that in my own way by keeping quiet and respecting Italian culture," he said. "I can never say that I did wrong or misbehaved, that's what's important for me and that's how I carried on. Just because some idiots say things, I don't need to involve the whole of Italy in that, I like Italy and had a great time there but some people need to get punished harder."
UEFA have come under fire for small or non-existent punishments in racism cases over the past year, including multiple cases in Russia in the build-up to the 2018 World Cup.