"You see the rise of that hate": Tackling racism in football on social media

Portsmouth goalkeeping legend Shaka Hislop says racism in football is on the rise, and that we must all do something to stop it.

On Thursday night the England squad took the knee to show solidarity with those fighting for change, and to highlight there is 'no room for racism'.

Shaka Hislop founded the charity Show Racism the Red Card 25 years ago.

He says players then, and now, are being targeted.

Shaka says: "The perception around racism was about the abuse that the likes of John Barnes faced, having bananas thrown at him, or Viv Anderson having bullets mailed to him when he was first elected in an England squad.

"Without them putting up with it as they did, I wouldn't have been able to be a footballer myself."

"And then with the rise of social media, 2020 happened, and you see the rise of that hate over the course of the last 12 to 15 months."

Former footballer John Barnes had bananas thrown at him during play.

Twenty five years ago, Shaka was abused by a group of fans one night while filling his car at the petrol station outside of St James' Park.

Once the fans got closer and realised who he was, the abuse changed to friendly football songs and autograph requests.He then set up his charity the following month and began doing school visits a month later.

This week Shaka has been talking at a number of schools in Portsmouth about the problem.

Solent Junior School was among those hearing about the rise of racism online.

Incidents recently included Southampton teenager Alex Jankewitz being targetted after he was sent off at Manchester United.

Ged Grebby, Chief Executive of Show Racism the Red Card, said: “As we’ve seen this past week, our anti-racism work has never been more important. The Covid-19 pandemic has made our work more difficult, as with so many industries, but we’ve continued to work with football clubs to offer virtual workshops to schools.

"We’re delighted to have our President, Shaka Hislop teaming up with Kevin Ball, Jordy and Charmaine for this event as we continue to educate the next generation about racism and all forms of discrimination."