Black England soccer players Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho, and Bukayo Saka were the target of a torrent of racist abuse on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter following England’s loss to Italy in the Euro 2020 final on Sunday night. This was indeed big news and something that had been frowned upon. We do not need to mention that the stuff was totally unethical and did manage to gain a lot of social media attention. In this day and age, racism is still a big problem, and it is clear because of this incident.
Shaka Hislop, the former West Ham United and Newcastle United goalkeeper, who is a founding member of campaign group Show Racism the Red Card, told CNBC’s “Squawk Box Europe” on Friday that social media companies need to do more and accused them of “hiding in a self-serving manner.”
“That to me is not a good enough excuse to continue to allow racism on their platforms in the manner that they have,” he said.
“Their responsibility to the wider community goes far further than their valuations or what their shareholders may get from their companies,” added Hislop. “They play a role in our culture, they play a role in our communities, and they have to recognize that.”
“I knew instantly the kind of hate that I was about to receive, and that is a sad reality that your powerful platforms are not doing enough to stop these messages,” he said.
“There is no place for racism or hate of any kind in football or in any area of society, and to the majority of people coming together to call out these messages, by taking action and reporting these comments to the police and by driving out the hate by being kind to one another, we will win,” said Saka.
Sancho wrote on his Instagram profile on Wednesday that he saw the racist abuse after the game and that “it’s nothing new.” Meanwhile, Rashford said he won’t apologize for who he is.
A Facebook spokesperson told CNBC on Monday the company moved quickly to take down racial abuse aimed at England players on Instagram, which it owns.
“No one should have to experience racist abuse anywhere, and we don’t want it on Instagram,” the spokesperson said. “We quickly removed comments and accounts directing abuse at England’s footballers last night, and we’ll continue to take action against those that break our rules.”