#racism has finally been called out. Unexpectedly, though, by #Englishfootball. With decades of racism infamously occurring on and off pitch, the #PremierLeague team have finally had enough, and we don’t blame them.
The team which signed the letter is comprised of:
1. Richard Masters, the Chief Executive
2. Mark Bullingham and Trevor Birch, the CEO’s
3. Kelly Simmons, the Director of Women’s Professional Game
4. Gordon Taylor, the CEO
5. Richard Bevan, The Chief Executive
6. Mike Riley, the Managing Director
7. and Sanjar Bhandari, the Chairman.
Together, they wrote to Twitter’s Jack Dorsey and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, reminding them of their integral role in #socialchange. However, they suggest that, instead, they have been enabling racism. But, by implementing restrictions, they can put an end to it.
Basically, the letter has loads of really important points focussed around the ‘vicious, offensive abuse from users’ on their platforms, described in the letter as ‘debasing, often threatening and illegal’. And, while being careful to acknowledge the scale of both platforms, and the good work they have done, this letter mentions the ‘many meetings’ with their executives spanning a number of years, all of which have seemingly gone ignored.
It uses this compliment, though, as a sort of backhand. They use it to ask why on earth nothing has been done before. Like the #influencers who build up their platform and use it for #pyramidschemes and beauty enhancing, weight loss scams, Premier League suggest #Twitter and #Facebook are veering into this dangerous territory, too. So, they came up with a list of demands:
‘- Messages and posts should be filtered and blocked before being sent or posted if they contain racist or discriminatory material
- You should operate robust, transparent, and swift measures to take down abusive material if it does get into circulation
- All users should be subject to an improved verification process that (only if required by law enforcement) allows for accurate identification of the person behind the account. Steps should also be taken to stop a user that has sent abuse previously from re-registering an account
-Your platforms should actively and expeditiously assist the investigating authorities in identifying the originators of illegal discriminatory material.’
This list cannot singlehandedly stop racism on the pitch. They know that, we know that, and, as we’re sure, Mark and Jack know that ‘far more is needed to drive change.’ But...
acknowledging it is NOT enough.
And, this week, Premier League have decided to take the leap and do something.
If you have a platform, come on Stitcht and use it right. Talk about racism. Talk about #sexism. Talk about the discrimination pandemic which has is taking over our societies.
Something can be done to stop racism. And it starts with you.