News Story

FA urges govt & social media giants to act on racist abuse



The FA has called on the government and social media companies to act quickly in the fight against online racist abuse after Manchester United’s Axel Tuanzebe and Lauren James became the latest players to be targeted.In a strong 127-word statement, the governing body offered its support to the United players after another weekend overshadowed by footballers suffering racist abuse.Tuanzebe was again the subject of racism, having also been on the receiving end last month.

Manchester United Women forward James, the sister of Chelsea defender Reece, who was also subjected to racist abuse in recent weeks, was sent a comment which contained the monkey emoji on Instagram on Sunday.An FA statement read: “It has been yet another weekend where players are facing discriminatory abuse and having to deal with anonymous keyboard warriors who hide in a world of impunity. At The FA, we believe that enough is enough.”We will continue to do everything we can to stamp discrimination out of the game, but we implore government to act quickly and bring in the appropriate legislation so this abuse has real-life consequences.

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Kick It Out’s Troy Townsend says football players are tired of ‘conversations’ being held over social media abuse and urged firms to take tougher action.

“Social media companies need to step up and take accountability and action to ban abusers from their platforms, gather evidence that can lead to prosecution and support making their platforms free from this type of abhorrent abuse.”We stand with Lauren James, Axel Tuanzebe and every victim of discrimination in all its forms. It’s time for change.”Sky Sports News has contacted Twitter and Facebook for comment.In response to the abuse received by Tuanzebe, a spokesperson for Facebook – which owns Instagram – told Sky Sports News earlier on Sunday: “There is no place for hate speech on Instagram and we have taken action to remove accounts and comments following the abuse received by Axel Tuanzebe this weekend.”We are always working on new ways to tackle racism on Instagram and will have more to share soon.”James posted on her social media account that she was “bored” of the treatment she was receiving online and urged Instagram to do more.

We stand with @laurenjamess22, Axel Tuanzebe and every victim of discrimination in all its forms.It’s time for change.— Lionesses (@Lionesses) February 7, 2021

“Instagram on a real need to do something about it, or they will lose so many individuals on their platform – because that’s the only way they will actually listen,” said United forward James.”Could even just remove any emojis with racist meanings. Too easy for some kid to press a few emojis in order to try and grab some attention. Too much talk around these days, and nothing ever gets done. Usual story.”Bristol Rovers defender Mark Little was also sent monkey emojis on Instagram, and he brought the abuse to light in a post on Twitter, with the caption: “Happy Sunday”.In a club statement, Rovers said: “There is no place in sport or society for racism. Racism and discrimination will not be tolerated at Bristol Rovers.”Hate Won’t Stop UsSky Sports is committed to making skysports.com and our channels on social media platforms a place for comment and debate that is free of abuse, hate and profanity.For more information please visit: www.skysports.com/hatewontstopus

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This is the message from Sky Sports presenters and reporters, who have united in supporting a new campaign aimed at raising awareness of online hate and abuse on social media.

If you see a reply to Sky Sports posts and/or content with an expression of hate on the basis of race, colour, gender, nationality, ethnicity, disability, religion, sexuality, age or class please copy the URL to the hateful post or screengrab it and email us here.Kick It Out reporting racismOnline Reporting Form | Kick It OutKick It Out is football’s equality and inclusion organisation – working throughout the football, educational and community sectors to challenge discrimination, encourage inclusive practices and campaign for positive change.www.kickitout.org


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