Only 3 Premier League Clubs Accepted Invite To Discuss How They Can Tackle Online Racism
16 Oct 2021
It has been revealed that just three Premier League clubs have said they are willing to work directly with the police to help their players deal with online racist abuse.
Chief Constable Mark Roberts, the National Police Chiefs Council’s football lead wrote to all 92 clubs in the English football league in July and was left disappointed by the response.
“Only 49 have come back with a positive response to saying they wish to engage… so far only eight clubs have facilitated us getting the officers, PFA and Kick It Out in to speak to the players,” he told one news outlet.
Not wishing to name and shame Roberts said he expects the clubs to facilitate visits from officers as soon as possible.
“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,”
Despite being a long standing issue, coverage of online racial abuse of sports stars came to the front of the publics attention after the abuse England and Premier League stars Bukayo Saka, Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho who received torrents of racially centred vitriol following the three lions Euro 2020 loss to Italy.
Roberts explained: “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 I, candidly, the numbers speak for themselves.”
“If people know the options in advance and what support is open to them, then there’s a better chance of them knowing what to do and taking positive action,” Roberts added.
The damning admission comes during Black History Month in the UK. The premier league previously spoke on their intentions to support and celebrate their black players. The league said in a statement:
“October marks Black History Month in the UK, with the Premier League and clubs showcasing the ways in which we promote equality, diversity and inclusion, as well as demonstrating our ongoing commitment to tackling discrimination.”