BUKAYO SAKA after his abuse after missing his penalty at the Euros: “My reaction post-match said it all – I was hurting so much and I felt like I’d let you all and my England family down. For those who have campaigned on my behalf and sent me heartfelt letters, wished me and my family well, I am so thankful.
“To the social media platforms Facebook, Instagram and Twitter: I don’t want any child or adult to receive the hateful and hurtful messages that me, Marcus and Jadon have received. I knew instantly the kind of hate I was about to receive and that is a sad reality that your powerful platforms are not doing enough to stop these messages.
“There is no place for racism or hate of any kind in football or any area of society and to the majority of people coming together to call out the people sending these messages, by taking action and reporting these to the police and driving out the hate by being kind to one another, we will win.”
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The first buffoon goes to jail for racist abuse on social media by Dan Smith
The UK Justice system is patting itself on the back this morning after a first ever prison sentence was ordered for online racial abuse.
It’s a historic moment in Britain that goes beyond Football, as it educates people that you can be held accountable for what you type while cowering behind your computer screen or phone.
I wanted to share this story as for me it is so much more powerful than the public watching players take a knee.
I watched a documentary the other day of Eric Cantona and Les Ferdinand taking part in an anti-racism advert.
As Ferdinand brilliantly said, that was 1996 when he made a gesture, here we are 25 years later doing the same. That’s why he (and myself) are against the pre match ritual. I want action.
The next generation will learn a lot more by seeing that you can go to jail for online abuse, than they will by seeing their club tick a PR box by taking a knee.
That’s who we are educating, that next generation.
Simon Silwood, jailed for 8 weeks for abusing West Brom’s Romaine Sawyers. is 50 years old and beyond rehabilitation. When sentenced, he acted like the victim, in tears as his wife screamed from the dock,’ this is disgusting, he’s an innocent man’.
That’s grown adults not realising why in 2021 why calling a Black Caribbean a ‘Baboon’ is offensive.
Zero remorse, blaming his Facebook post as a misspelling. Not sure how many of you have accidently abused someone because of auto correct? Never happened to me.
What the guilty party was expecting was being able to write whatever he wanted on social media, wake up the next morning and carry on with his week, with zero thought for how the recipient felt.
To be fair that’s what normally happens. That’s what society has taught him.
I don’t know how much he pays his defence team, but they failed to see the irony that during mitigation, they wanted a judge to sympathise that Mr Silwood has been receiving trolling since his conviction.
Just a small taste of what he thought a 29-year-old footballer should have to tolerate.
He probably thought because he was a footballer that made it okay to act how he wanted?
He can’t be helped but we can teach young people in this country by having conversations and debate.
If one young person thinks twice about discriminating someone online because they see what has happened to Mr Silwood, then that’s progress.
Yet it remains a small step.
An 8-week sentence means only one month will be spent behind bars. The other half will be on licence along with a 500 pound fine.
That’s not enough, but why I am not a judge? A judge is paid to take emotion out of his verdict and refer to the laws that exist.
My only hope is that this will cost him work and stain his reputation.
There are still individuals found guilty of similar offences who are avoiding jail time.
I would have zero tolerance. Anyone found guilty of racial abuse should get years in prison to make it clear we are a country who will not tolerate racial hatred.
That’s legislation we need our MPs to push for.
To be fair we needed to see that if you act like this online, the police will take it seriously and prosecute.
Yet this is a step forward. A small step. But at least a step in the right direction.
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The West Brom player involved Romaine Sawyers welcomed Silwood’s punishment. He said: ‘Racial abuse towards anyone, in any circumstance, is totally unacceptable and I hope this case will serve as a deterrent to others.
‘This is an incident that has affected me deeply, but I would like to encourage fellow players to report all racial abuse to the police. We must together stand strong in order to rid the game and wider society of this hideous behaviour.
‘It is widely accepted that social media companies must do more to stop the publication of racism on their platforms. I again urge them to take the necessary action required to prevent anyone from receiving the abuse I experienced.’