Anyone convicted of racist abuse online should be banned from attending football matches, Britain’s main opposition Labour Party’s Shadow Culture Secretary Jo Stevens said Wednesday.
As three young black players in the England football team have been subjected to a storm of online racist abuse after the team’s defeat in the final of Euro 2020, the Labour Party said urgent action is needed to stop racist abuse online, Xinhua reported.
“The racists who have been abusing England players online should be banned from football grounds. They do not deserve to be anywhere near a game of football,” she said.
It came after Marcus Rashford, 23, Jadon Sancho, 21, and Bukayo Saka, 19, suffered abuse after they missed spot-kicks in a penalty shootout with Italy. Racist comments online have prompted a police investigation and wide condemnation, although critics accused some governmental ministers of hypocrisy for refusing to support a high-profile anti-racist stance the players had made during the tournament.
It also sparked a debate about whether the British government and social media companies are doing enough to combat racism in the sport.
Downing Street has said that British Prime Minister Boris Johnson told social media companies at a meeting Tuesday afternoon that the government expects them to do “everything they can” to identify those responsible for racist abuse of England football players.
The prime minister said the attacks on Euro 2020 penalty-takers were “utterly disgraceful” and had emerged “from the dark spaces of the internet”.
He used the meeting to reiterate attendees at the meeting, thought to include giants like Facebook and Twitter, the urgent need for action to deal with hatred on their platforms.
According to a recent research by the British race equality thinktank Runnymede Trust, racism is still “systemic” in England and legislation, institutional practices and customs are harming ethnic minority groups.
People from ethnically diverse backgrounds still face inequalities across health, the criminal justice system, education, employment, immigration and politics, said the thinktank.