FA demands government legislation in fight against racism on social media


In a strong 127-word statement, the governing body offered its support to the Manchester United players after another weekend overshadowed by footballers suffering racist abuse.

James, the sister of Chelsea ace Reece and a forward for United’s women’s side, was sent a comment which contained the monkey emoji on Instagram this week.

An FA statement read: “It has been yet another weekend where players are facing discriminatory abuse and having to deal with anonymous keyboard warriors who hide in a world of impunity. At The FA, we believe that enough is enough.

“We will continue to do everything we can to stamp discrimination out of the game, but we implore government to act quickly and bring in the appropriate legislation so this abuse has real-life consequences.

“Social media companies need to step up and take accountability and action to ban abusers from their platforms, gather evidence that can lead to prosecution and support making their platforms free from this type of abhorrent abuse.

“We stand with Lauren James, Axel Tuanzebe and every victim of discrimination in all its forms. It’s time for change.”

Last month, the Duke of Cambridge, president of the FA, described the racist abuse aimed at footballers as “despicable” and urged it “must stop now.”

(Getty Images)

James’ sister Lauren took to Instagram on Sunday after a comment on her post this week contained two different monkey emojis.

She wrote: “Instagram on a real need to do something about it or they will lose so many individuals on their platform – cause that’s the only way they will actually listen. Some smart person out there got to be coming up with a platform where you have to prove ID to sign up.

“Instagram doesn’t even have a clear ‘Racism’ option in their reporting system. Could even just remove any emojis with racist meanings. Too easy for some kid to press a few emojis in order to try & grab some attention.

“Too much talk around these days, and nothing ever gets done. Usual story.”

Responding to the Tuanzebe abuse, Facebook told PA it has “taken action to remove accounts” and would have “more to share soon” on the next steps. The company said it was investigating the abuse of James.



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