England footballers receive over 2,000 abusive messages on social media


Damning new statistics prove just how much hate is directed at modern footballers online.

The England national team have reportedly been hit with more than 2,000 abusive social media posts from fans throughout their Euro 2020 group stage campaign.

According to new figures from The Guardianthe players were the subject of exactly 2114 abusive tweets (yes, that’s only from Twitter and no other platform) during the games against Croatia, Scotland and the Czech Republic.

It is understood that some of this abuse is also racist, with posts even including monkey emojis and the N-word.

The England national team. Credit: PA Images

The analysis conducted by The Guardian aims to “illustrate the shocking levels of hatred” that go unheard and ultimately go unpunished on social media.

Well, the awful numbers speak for themselves.

The figures suggest England captain Harry Kane committed the most despicable abuse among the group of players after receiving 506 tweets.

Harry Kane.  Credit: PA
Harry Kane. Credit: PA

The Three Lions’ top scorer for the tournament, Raheem Sterling, was not too far behind his skipper, receiving 430 alone, with almost a quarter of the abuse in the opener being racist.

Elsewhere, Phil Foden, Jack Grealish, Jordan Pickford and Tyrone Mings have also been the subject of vulgar comments and posts.

That said, it was actually England manager Gareth Southgate who was at the center of most of the abuse after receiving over 700 fan messages.

The stats also suggest some of the hate was directed at the team’s decision to take a knee before kick-off to protest racism.

Reading the truly grim results, the chairman of anti-racism organizations Kick It Out and the Online Football Hate Task Force, Sanjay Bhandari, said: “The results of this research are saddening because they are so grimly predictable.

“Abuse and discrimination against minorities and their allies has unfortunately become normalized on social media to the point where a piece of hate is being removed every second of every minute of every hour of every day, 365 days a year.

Gareth Southgate.  Credit: PA
Gareth Southgate. Credit: PA

“This is an industrial-scale technology problem that requires industrial-scale technology solutions. We need social media to accelerate the development of technology solutions. We also need the government to pick up the pace. regulations, to speed up the passage of the online security bill.

“I would also like to thank the many powerful allies like Gareth Southgate who courageously use their platforms to stand up for their colleagues and for what is right.”

Not that it matters anyway, but England remain unbeaten at Euro 2020 and are still the only team yet to concede a goal in the tournament.

The Three Lions now face their age-old rivals Germany in the Round of 16.


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