Only 4 Premier League clubs accept Police invitation to prevent online racism in shock decision
Premier League’s commitment to tackle racism
With the ever-increasing social media presence of the Premier League, sadly more abuse has also cropped up especially after a player has a poor performance.
In only April of this year, the Premier League clubs took part in a four day social media boycott in an attempt to raise awareness for abuse on social media.
Kick it Out’s chairman Sanjay Bhandari explained why on BBC Sport, saying:
“Social media is now sadly a regular vessel for toxic abuse.
“By removing ourselves from the platforms, we are making a symbolic gesture to those with power. We need you to act. We need you to create change.
“We need social media companies to make their platforms a hostile environment for trolls rather than for the football family.”
However, it seems as though these actions are as far as clubs are willing to go, judging by the latest revelations.
Only four clubs voted to accept police help
Despite the seemingly incessant calls from clubs to help tackle racism, as per a report in the Guardian, only four Premier League clubs voted to accept an invitation to work with the police in order to prevent online racism.
As per the report, the National Police Chiefs’ Council’s football lead Mark Roberts wrote to all 92 clubs in the football pyramid back in July, inviting them to work with the police to prevent racism. However, just 4 clubs in the top flight, Manchester City, Norwich, Brighton and Chelsea, have accepted the invitation, while only a further 45 of the 72 other clubs accepting too.
Speaking to Sky News, Mark Roberts said:
“So far only eight clubs have facilitated us getting the officers, PFA [Professional Footballers’ Association] and Kick It Out [anti-discrimination body] in to speak to the players.
“We hear all the slogans, we hear all the commitment. But when we try and take some positive steps to support players, support the clubs, we need a bit more than words sometimes.”
“We want to do this [end the abuse] but I think this is one of those examples where everyone says they are committed, says they want to tackle it, but then we give opportunities [and] it doesn’t happen. [It’s] a really disappointing take-up, and I think, candidly, the numbers speak for themselves.”
With Bukayo Saka, Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho all subjected to racial abuse after the Euro 2020 final defeat to Italy on penalties, it is frankly shambolic that Arsenal and Manchester United have not voted in favour of working with the police to target racial abuse.
Until clubs step up to the plate, the same people will continue to make the same comments.