SWANSEA, WALES – FEBRUARY 10: Yan Dhanda of Swansea City in action during the Emirates FA Cup Fifth … [+]
Discrimination, and especially racial discrimination, has a long and lousy history in most professional sports, not least in football. At the same time, the intense competition in the game did a lot to help Crystal Palace take advantage of racial discrimination in the 1980s to thrive on a modest budget by using players who opposed clubs other than Stefan Szymanski, more recently researchers have Alex Bryson and Arnaud Chevalier found that football fans who play Fantasy League don’t racially discriminate in their weekly picks – it’s more important to hit their friends.
However, it’s hard to escape the reality that football and sports in general are in a hot moment when it comes to online racial abuse via social media. The stories are all too common. A player makes something in a match, usually some kind of mistake (who doesn’t make mistakes?), And they are abused online, mostly racist.
The social media giants all condemn this. Instagram has vowed to close accounts, Facebook is “appalled” and the UK government has pledged to legislate to force social media companies to be more accountable. However, most of the comments on this start with, “This is 2021 and it’s still happening?” As Swansea’s Yan Dhanda commented on a recent game on how to receive abuse. Football’s Kick It Out campaign against racism works tirelessly, but was founded in 1993. Almost twenty years later, and racism is still making the game bad.
Is there a realistic hope? Well, a young British entrepreneur is hoping he can do it. At the age of 14, Laurence Moss started a marketing agency called Greedy Growth that aims to help companies manage their social media campaigns and be relevant to their newest markets.
Getting it right on Instagram has never been more important, and leveraging the target market’s mindset is certainly invaluable. Middle-aged Smarmy PR consultants therefore no longer perform well and offer much younger market players like Moss a clear opportunity.
For the past year, Greedy Growth has supported young soccer players with their social media profiles. Moss argues that a big part of this is making followers feel valued and recognized. One of Laurence’s clients is Yan Dhanda, who was abused online after Swansea lost 3-1 to Manchester City last week.
SWANSEA, WALES – FEBRUARY 10: Yan Dhanda of Swansea City (L) in action during the Emirates FA Cup … [+]
It will no doubt be important that sports stars, and especially the younger ones, feel supported when sadly exposed to the inevitable abuse that modernity and social media bring with them. Moss argues the teams need to take tough action, as both Swansea and Manchester City did after their game last week.
Is that enough? Could Social Media Companies Do More? Are you asking for stricter measures for registration on the websites? Remove abuser? The former can shut out vulnerable groups from social media as much as it prevents abuse, and the latter is a little late.
I remember being told as a teenager that if you ignore the bullies, you would have less to feed. Ignoring racial abuse is not an option here, however. However, creating positive content could silence the abuse.
LONDON, ENGLAND – JANUARY 31: Joel Mumbongo of Burnley and Antonio Rudiger of Chelsea during the … [+]
Aside via Getty Images
If players like Yan Dhanda and Burnley star Joel Mumbongo, whom Moss also represents, are able to make enough positive noises about their love of the game, who they are as self-contained, fascinating young men in an incredibly competitive environment Industry are successful then maybe we could be on something. If they are able to cultivate their fan base so that we all follow them and know who they are for the great things they do, then maybe – just maybe – we can silence the trolls and culprits out there .
This is what Moss is up to with Greedy Growth. Guide these young Premier League stars as they navigate the all too treacherous seas of the social media world. Re-share, retweet, share original content, mention fans and followers, be better, spend more productive time online. Develop such strong profiles that scream so loudly about how amazing these young people are that nothing else can be heard.