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Kick It Out consultation with 200 current Premier League and Football League stars reveals racist abuse still rife

Tue 18th Mar 2014 | Football Governance

Over 50% of Premier League and Football League footballers have either witnessed or been subjected to racist abuse in football stadiums according to a consultation undertaken by Kick It Out.

 The consultation, carried out between August 2013 and December 2013, was completed confidentially and anonymously by 200 current professional footballers (32% black and minority ethnic) from across the Premier League (15%) and Football League (85%).

Sent to every Premier League and Football League club, the consultation saw players answering a wide range of questions on discrimination in football, and the effectiveness of Kick It Out. The results revealed:


  • 57% of players have witnessed, and 24% have been subjected to, racist abuse in football stadiums. 7% of players have been subjected to, and 20% have witnessed, racist abuse on the training ground or in the dressing room.

 

  • 39% of players have witnessed, and 3% subjected to, homophobic abuse in football stadiums. 7% of players have been subjected to, and 26% have witnessed, homophobic abuse on the training ground or in the dressing room.

 

  • 92% of players thought fan on player discrimination was common or extremely common. 80% felt fan on fan was common or extremely common. 50% thought player on player discrimination was extremely rare or rare. 39% thought player on player discrimination was common or extremely common.

 

  • 69% of players felt that, due to their profession, they are more exposed to abuse, with 91% agreeing that social media has led to an increase in them receiving discriminatory abuse. They felt these platforms must be policed and monitored more effectively.

 

  • 65% of players are aware of reporting procedures and are comfortable informing either the Premier League or Football League, the PFA, their club, agent and Kick It Out. They feel The FA and Police should have quicker and more consistent responses with harsher penalties for both fans and players. They also believe that there should be better education for fans who are found guilty.

 

  • 52% of players agreed that there was an issue around the lack of black and minority ethnic managers and coaches. 62% felt mandatory shortlisting should be in place for black and minority ethnic candidates applying for non-playing jobs in football. 70% believed there should be greater transparency around the recruitment of managers and coaches, and how appointments are made.

 

  • 86% of players agreed there needs to be an anti-discrimination campaign in football, with 89% saying that they will support future Kick It Out initiatives and events.

 

  • 92% felt Kick It Out has been effective in raising awareness of racism in football, and 71% agreed the campaign has been effective in tackling the issue. 67% felt Kick It Out has been effective in raising awareness of other issues of discrimination in football, and 55% agreed the campaign has been effective in tackling the issues.

 

Kick It Out developed the consultation to provide a channel for all professional footballers to convey their opinions openly and honestly about the issues the campaign deals with.

During the 2012/13 season, a number of players publically displayed their discontent at what they believed to be a lack of progress in tackling racism and discrimination across the game.

Since then, Paul Mortimer, a former Charlton Athletic and Crystal Palace midfielder, has been appointed as Kick It Out’s full-time Professional Player Engagement Manager to strengthen links between the campaign and players.

Kick It Out also developed a Professional Player Guidance Group and launched its ‘Next 20’ initiative, which sees 20 players from across the Premier League, Football League and Women’s Super League spreading messages of equality and inclusion in their local communities.

The information gained from the consultation will be used to build upon Paul’s work and to enhance the Guidance Group’s strategy. Further awareness will be generated around reporting procedures, and additional support and advice given to players subject to any form of discrimination.

Posted by: Kev Howland 

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