Wednesday 21 August 2019

Kick It Out calls for Twitter to take action after abuse of Chelsea star

Chelsea's Tammy Abraham after missing penalty. Photo: Reuters
Chelsea's Tammy Abraham after missing penalty. Photo: Reuters

Jamie Holland

Twitter remain "deeply committed to improving the health of the conversation" on the social media platform following criticism from Kick It Out after Chelsea forward Tammy Abraham was the victim of online racial abuse.

Abraham's penalty was saved by Liverpool goalkeeper Adrian to hand the Super Cup to the Reds on Wednesday night, and the 21-year-old was the subject of abusive posts on Twitter.

There have been a series of unsavoury incidents already this season and anti-discrimination campaigners Kick It Out were quick to condemn it, with a "call to action" for what was being done to "tackle this insidious problem".

In a statement issued to the PA news agency, Twitter highlighted the recent 'health update' post earlier this year, with significant progress made when it comes to hateful conduct on the service.

"We continue to take action on any account that violates the Twitter rules," a Twitter spokesperson said. "We welcome people to freely express themselves, however, as outlined in our Hateful Conduct Policy, users cannot promote violence against, threaten or harass other people on the basis of race, ethnicity or other protected groups.

"We remain deeply committed to improving the health of the conversation on the service."


Kick It Out maintains more must be done to combat the social media trolls.

"Last night we received reports of racist abuse at Tammy Abraham on social media after Chelsea's UEFA Super Cup match," a Kick It Out statement read.

"Such abuse is now increasingly predictable, but no less disgusting.

"We send our support to Tammy and reiterate our call for Twitter and other social media companies to clamp down on this level of abuse. This is a call to action - we want to know what they are going to do to tackle this insidious problem."

Christian Pulisic, meanwhile, said the Chelsea players would get behind Abraham after his shoot-out miss.

"It's penalties, man - somebody has to miss," Pulisic said. "He'll move on, he'll score a goal in the next game and everything will be forgotten."

This is the latest case of racism to surface in the new season after four separate incidents were recorded on the opening weekend of the English Football League.

Earlier this month Fulham launched an investigation into Cyrus Christie's claims that a supporter hit and racially abused his sister.

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