A report has found that England players and staff have been subjected to over two thousand abusive messages on Twitter during their Euro 2020 matches.
A study of Twitter posts directed at England players and Gareth Southgate, conducted by the Guardian and Hope Not Hate, found that messages included explicitly racist language, such as the N-word and monkey emojis, as well as anti-semitic and ableist abuse.
The report stated that the parameters for the study were only set for five hours, the hour prior to the match, during the game and two hours after the final whistle.
The report showed that Harry Kane and Raheem Sterling were the main targets of online abuse; however, it illustrated the significant comparison between the number of racially motivated messages directed toward Sterling.
Overall, the England team received 2,114 messages of abuse, with 102 racist messages. Of the over two thousand messages, captain Harry Kane received 506 (24%) messages, of which only ten were racially motivated.
Comparatively, Manchester City forward Raheem Sterling received 430 abusive messages (20%), of which 49 were racist, nearly half of all racist messages directed toward the England team. Sterling is currently England’s only goalscorer at Euro 2020.
Phil Foden, Jack Grealish and Tyrone Mings also received a significant number of abusive messages; however, the most targeted individual was manager Gareth Southgate, who was the subject of over 700 abusive messages.
As well as abuse directed at the England players, tweets included general nationalist messaging and the disapproval of the player’s support of Black Lives Matter by taking the knee.
The report noted that tweets in support of the players or that called out the abuse had a higher engagement than the abusive messages.
The chair of Kick It Out and the Football Online Hate Working Group, Sanjay Bhandari, said, “The findings from this research are saddening because they are so grimly predictable.
“Abuse and discrimination aimed at minorities and their allies have become sadly normalised on social media to the point where a piece of hate is taken down every second of every minute of every hour of every day, 365 days a year.”
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