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Racist incidents continue to rise in football

Everton vs Brentford saw the latest incident as two Brentford players' families were racially abused
Everton vs Brentford saw the latest incident as two Brentford players' families were racially abused

Racism has always had a history within football and of recent times its evolution has given it a new platform to stand on – and it must be knocked down.

Social media has meant footballers, managers and any person in the limelight can bring home those racist remarks and there isn’t an escape.

However, at the same time, with all the focus on social media, there cannot be a let up of what happens in and around football stadia.

Players across all leagues often bring their family to come and support them on the terraces, and what happened on Sunday night when Everton hosted Brentford proves even more needs to be done.

Brentford players Ivan Toney and Rico Henry both took to Twitter after their victory to say that their families had been racially abused, with Henry, who scored the winner, saying it has “brought fire” to his stomach.

Often the focus is primarily on players and managers being abused however with family, who have absolutely nothing to do with the game, being thrown into the mix, a serious clampdown and punishment needs to be made clear.

Toney has said he will do “everything I can to get you the punishment you deserve” whilst Everton say they will assist Merseyside police in identifying the individuals.

Detective Inspector Catherine Cox of Merseyside police said:

“We will support the victims in this case and work with Everton Football Club to find those responsible and bring them to justice.

“I would like to take this opportunity to encourage any football fans with information on racial abuse to speak with officers or stewards at the ground, or call 101 so we can identify and locate offenders, and ensure they face the consequences of their actions.”

1 in 4 BAME fans say that they see racism in the stands regularly with 93% having witnessed it at least once according to a Sky Data Poll conducted by Sky Sports News.

The same research also concluded that 31% of fans would not report the incident thinking that the authorities will not take any action – the exact problem with racism in the stands.

Each person who attends needs to be responsible for what they say but at the same time be active and listen to others and report any foul terms that are deeply offensive or racist in nature as it has no place in the game – or society.

Just like most forms of hate, it will most likely never be completely eradicated, however more can be done to highlight the methods of reporting and the punishment to give fans more confidence and understanding when racist remarks are heard.


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