Written by Gabriel Coxtron
On the eve of the start of the 2021/22 season, the Premier League decided to address the recent discriminatory attacks against its players. The English Championship organizer announced, on Tuesday, (10) a set of measures to punish those who practice biased positions against officials, players and referees. One of the main measures is to ban these fans from all stadiums.
“It’s a great initiative. The idea of banning people who are authorized to express their racism in the game environment communicates to the football community that this type of behavior will not be tolerated and encourages those who are attacked or witnesses aggression to report it. I also understand it as a position that supports athletes, who They are often humiliated and harassed through racist attacks,” says Monica Sabocaya, a human rights lawyer.
“I see this measure as essential in the fight against racism, because it stops thinking about measures to actually implement them. When these associations unite to ban these fans, it gives a clear message that instances of racism will not be tolerated. From that moment on, people will start to re-run Think about these situations, because every time a situation of racism occurs and the aggressor is not punished, others feel free to do the same,” assesses Marcelo Carvalho, of the Racism Watch.
Lawyer, journalist and author of this blog, Andrei Kampf, also understands the procedure as necessary. “Education is always the first path. The law comes next. In law, undesirable behaviors must be prevented by rule/law, and then punished if they are not respected,” he says.
The new season, which begins next Friday (13) with the match Brentford and Arsenal, will see the full return of fans to the stadiums since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic. Despite the feeling that “football is nothing without fans”, recent cases of online abuse have prompted players to take a stand and demand effective action from the authorities against criminals.
According to the Premier League, the new sanctions are part of a campaign against racism called ‘No Room for Racism’. The goal is to focus more on identifying criminal behavior in and out of situations through the league’s online discriminatory abuse reporting system that will be in constant contact with law enforcement and clubs. In addition, it is also planned to adopt educational measures on equality, diversity and inclusion practices.
“We are asking fans to join us and our clubs to help combat discrimination and to challenge and report abuse wherever they see it,” urged Richard Masters, chief executive of the Premier League.
The announcement of the measures comes days after Twitter provided data from an analysis of internet abuse against England players during the Euro. The social media platform said it removed 1,622 racist messages within 24 hours of the ruling. According to the company, most of the messages were sent by people living in the UK.
This type of situation became common in English football last season. After the European competition final, fans took to the social networks of English players Rashford, Sancho and Saka, who had lost their penalties, to spread racist messages. The case sparked a revolution in different sectors of society and was a catalyst for the implementation of these actions. So far, it was 11 people handle by the police in England for their involvement in these acts.
Despite the report on Twitter, the Premier League believes social networks can and should do more to combat racism and discrimination.
Mônica Sapucaia asserts that “these entities are corporations and therefore cannot implement public policy, but they can and should, in their working environment, create mechanisms that make it impossible for their activity to be the scene of an insult to human rights.”
For Marcelo Carvalho, this set of actions “puts pressure on social networks to start identifying and excluding these crimes from the Internet”.
“We have to put an end to racism, and there is nothing more powerful than preventing and punishing these aggressors.”
In May, the English Football Association (FA) called on the British government for legislative changes to force platforms to take action against online abuse.
To draw attention to the seriousness of the situation, the federation, along with English football clubs and leagues, met to boycott social media from April 30 to May 3.
“The Premier League and our clubs condemn all forms of discriminatory and abusive behaviour. The commitment of all clubs to enforce the ban across the league shows that there is no place for any discrimination in football and that we will continue to work together to fight all forms of prejudice,” concluded the Masters.
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