London: In an attempt to curb the menace of social media abuse, Premier League club Arsenal on Tuesday announced a new campaign, named #StopOnlineAbuse.
“Social media is one of the ways our supporters across the world can feel closer to the club and our players, but across football and beyond we’ve seen an online world poisoned by hateful, racist and discriminatory words.
We cannot underestimate the impact abuse has on individuals and the recent spate of abuse needs to be a wake-up call,” the club said in a statement.
“We all need to work together to drive out this behaviour. This includes clubs, governing bodies, fans, media and politicians; but requires the help and commitment of social media companies. We know that we have a crucial role to play in bringing about real change. We are therefore outlining below our #StopOnlineAbuse action plan to ensure we are fulfilling our responsibility to protect our players and our diverse, global family and stamp out online abuse,” it added.
The club said it has strengthened the internal procedures with the creation of a taskforce to give emotional and practical support to its players.
“Celebrate, educate and punish: Through ‘Arsenal for Everyone’ we strive to ensure that everyone connected to the club feels an equal sense of belonging. We continue to run ongoing staff education programmes on diversity. We will continue to celebrate our diversity and use our relationships with our local communities and our global platform to educate others and lobby to strengthen measures and action taken by relevant authorities, as well as social media companies, to punish those responsible for abuse and discrimination,” Arsenal said.
“Arsenal taskforce: We have strengthened our internal procedures with the creation of a taskforce to give emotional and practical support for our players. The taskforce has a strong network to the UK Police for domestic perpetrators, international networks supported by the Premier League, Football’s Equality and Inclusion organisation Kick It Out, social media platforms and our fan data. This taskforce will ensure clear and consistent steps are taken when abuse occurs. Where an Arsenal member is responsible for any unacceptable online abuse, they will be banned. The club will also support further legal action in the appropriate cases,” it added.