Former Manchester United defender Patrice Evra has called on football clubs to interact with fans and educate them about racism.
The French defender was speaking in reaction to how Black players in the England team were subjected to online racist abuse after their loss to Italy in the Euro 2020 final.
The likes of Bukayo Saka, Jadon Sancho, and Marcus Rashford were the targets of the abuse after they missed penalties in the 3:2 shootout loss to Italy after the game ended 1 all after extra time.
The abuse was condemned by the Three Lions’ captain, manager, politicians, royalty, and religious leaders while Prime Minister of the UK Boris Johnson urged social media companies to put more effort into tackling online abuse that emanates from the dark spaces of the internet.
“If we don’t do something racism will always be there because it’s been there for so many years. You know we need to change and that’s why education is really important,” Evra told Sky Sports.
“I want those clubs to invest in education, to meet the fans, for the players to speak to the fans, maybe a group of fans and tell what they feel when they get abused because of their color.
“Don’t tell me the football clubs can’t do that, or FIFA or UEFA, more meetings with the fans so they understand when they make a monkey noise when a Black player gets the ball, the way it affects them. That’s really important.”
It can be recalled that the online abuse of players has forced the British football authorities to briefly boycott social media platforms while Britain is working on legislation to force tech firms to do more.
A spokesperson for Twitter revealed last week that they had removed more than 1,000 posts and hit several accounts with permanent suspension while Facebook disclosed that they had removed abusive comments.