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Anton Ferdinand, Lianne Sanderson and Marvin Sordell give evidence on online racist abuse

7 September 2021

The Home Affairs Committee examines online racist abuse of footballers on Wednesday 8 September when it takes evidence from former footballers Anton Ferdinand, Lianne Sanderson and Marvin Sordell, in addition to the Professional Footballers’ Association. The Committee will also take evidence from Instagram and Twitter.

Research by the PFA indicates that racist abuse of footballers is a growing problem. It has calculated that 44% of players in the Premier League have received discriminatory abuse. There was a notable spike in racist abuse following England’s defeat in the Euro 2020 final, directed towards Marcus Rashford, Bukayo Saka and Jadon Sancho, resulting in 11 arrests. The 2021 FA Cup Final also coincided with a significant increase in racist abuse on social media, with 117 cases detected in May 2021.

In this evidence session the Home Affairs Committee will examine the prevalence of online racist abuse against Black, Asian and minority ethnic footballers. The Committee will hear directly from those who have experienced online abuse about the impact it has had on them and what they feel should be done to address the issue.

The Committee will also question social media companies on the measures they are taking to combat racist abuse on their platforms – where they have been successful and where more work is needed. It will also look at the potential impact of proposals in the Government’s online safety bill to tackle online racist abuse.

Witnesses

Wednesday 8 September 2020

At 10am:

Panel 1

  • Anton Ferdinand, former professional footballer

  • Simone Pound, Director of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, Professional Footballers’ Association

  • Lianne Sanderson, former professional footballer

  • Marvin Sordell, former professional footballer

Panel 2

  • Tara Hopkins, Director of Public Policy EMEA, Instagram

  • Katy Minshall, Head of UK Public Policy and Philanthropy, Twitter

Further information

Images: Ultraslansi, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons; Erica McCaulley, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons; Jon Candy, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons