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There are so many reasons to celebrate this summer; Lockdown restrictions are easing, the Euros arrived, and although England didn’t win, we still had a fantastic tournament.
However, this achievement has been overshadowed by racism. Another summer, another few months of seeing posts with monkey emojis, racist words and phrases all over social media.
For those who were shocked at the racial abuse given to the players following the European Championship final, why were you? Unfortunately I knew that these players were due to receive racial abuse on social media following England’s defeat. These players are racially abused daily. Black people across the UK (and the globe) are racially abused, daily.
This isn’t new. What has been new is the wave of people highlighting racial comments and people’s behaviours. Social media has been used effectively to call out the racists and they have also started to contact their employers. What we need is consistency. Keep this energy.
But please do not think that this is a time to repeat the process of summer 2019. This is not the time for posting black squares, or meaningless profile photos saying who you stand with.
Become anti-racist. Start or continue to call out racism when you see it. We cannot continue to allow racism to continue. All forms of racism. Not only the racism you see on social media.
Incidents like this brings awareness, but this issue is so much more than the footballers who are on the receiving end. The racism aimed at them is a kick in the teeth because they’ve worked their asses off to become elite athletes and now they are representing a country who seem to celebrate them when they are winning, but are quick to shoot them down when they aren’t.
The Prime Minister and high ranking government officials lead the way in perpetuating the negative attitudes at these players. They refused to condemn the English fans who booed our players when they took the knee throughout this football season. They took aim at Rashford for feeding the nation’s kids. Now they want to show their support?!?
For those who are still reading this and want to make a difference. Take steps to become anti-racist. Do your research and begin to learn how to be anti-racist. It is more than not being racist
Read up on the different forms of racism so you know what to look out for. If you are still unsure, there are numerous resources to read on the topics as well as seminars to attend.
Everyone versus the racists. Pick a side, don’t sit on the fence.