I would like to thank all the clubs’ supporters for their patience, understanding and support since March 2020. It has not been easy watching the side while taking part in lockdowns and isolation. The financial support also provided by everyone throughout the pandemic enabled us to plan early and allow Mark to get the pieces in place on the pitch for the seasons start. It also enabled Ian Darler to get a pitch ready in time for August. Everyone has played their part both on and off the pitch.
Last week everyone in football came together in support of the social media boycott. The hope is that by everyone joining together the Social media companies can be forced to do more to prevent and stop online abuse. The constant abuse on social media received by footballers and people in the game, as well as others across the world, which goes without any real-world consequences for perpetrators.
The boycott alone will not eradicate online discriminatory abuse, which is why everyone involved will continue to take proactive steps calling for change and progress in the following are -
- Apply preventative filtering and blocking measures to stop discriminatory abuse being sent or seen
- Be accountable for safety on platforms and protect users by implementing effective verification
- Ensure real-life consequences for online discriminatory abuse: ban perpetrators, stop account re-registration and support law enforcement
- A warning message to be displayed if a user writes an abusive message and need to enter personal data if they wish to send the message
- Platforms to have robust, reliable and quick measures in place if abusive material is sent or posted
- Transparent quarterly reports on the work social media companies are doing, internally and externally, to eradicate abuse on their platforms
There are also moves to ensure the UK Government Online Safety Bill will bring in strong legislation to make social media companies more accountable for what happens on their platforms.
How can you help?
If you have experienced or witnessed discrimination on social media, you can report it to Kick It Out through their online reporting form or via their reporting app available on both iOS and Android. You should also make your local police force aware by filing a report here.
You can also report posts to the respective social media channels by using the following links: Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | TikTok | Snapchat | YouTube
By reporting online abuse, you can help stop the behaviour and protect other people from seeing the abusive content. Online abuse does not have to be experienced directly by someone in order for that person to report. Everyone has a responsibility to report online hate they see.
Since the Stevenage programme article was written, the European Super League has been stopped in its tracks. It may have only been put on the back burner until the clubs find another way of achieving their aims. It is now a pivotal time for everyone involved with the game and wants fairness in football to take back control. The need to seize this opportunity has to be taken. The opportunity that enables fairer competition and financial security for all football clubs not just a few. It also needs to guarantee supporters a real voice at all levels. One that can be heard and listened to throughout the game. The Fan Engagement Index results were released this week see https://fanengagement.net/fan-engagement-index/ it proves that sometimes size doesn’t matter but what you do. Cambridge United may not be perfect but there is a real effort and desire to get it right.
It doesn’t seem long ago that we were relegated from the Football League. I hope that Grimsby do well in the future and return to the EFL League soon. They have some really good supporters who are passionate about their clubs future in the same way as we were at the time
Finally, take care over the summer and look after yourselves. Hopefully, we can meet again in a few months at the beginning of the next season.