Sunday, October 9, 2016

UK: Kick It Out Director fears no end in sight to anti-Semitic abuse in football

Via Jewish News:
The Director of Kick It Out has said she fears anti-Semitic abuse in football is only going to get worse – and cited the role social media plays in providing the platform for the abuse to take place.

Roisin Wood was speaking at Action Against Discrimination’s Q&A panel at JW3 on Thursday evening, which was entitled “Anti-Semitism in football – How serious is it now?”


“One of the biggest problems we have in dealing with anti-Semitism – and discrimination of all sorts – is social media. The anonymity that exists from behind a keyboard means it’s becoming an ever-increasing problem and it’s an issue we all have to grasp. There’s no easy solution, and I certainly don’t have the answer, but it’s a solution that has to come from both the social media providers, football clubs, the CPS and the police. We have to get the likes of Facebook and Twitter to take this seriously and do something about it.”

Accusing some of not taking the problem seriously, she said: “I would challenge both the government and CPS to take it seriously. Some forces get it, some don’t they don’t think it’s an issue. My big plea to the police force is for them to start training their officers around it, to actually understand what is anti-Semitic abuse.”

Saying she also wants to see changes made to make it easier to report incidents, she said: “I don’t think we see as much at grass roots level, but I think there’s under reporting at that level, I think people have to have greater confidence, for every person who does report an incident, I hear from others who say ‘What’s the point? What’s the point of going through the process, nothing has been done’.


The debate also brought up the issue of the use of the ‘Y’ Word – of which the video produced by David Baddiel was shown at the start of the evening – with Arkush saying he believed the word should be outlawed in society, never mind the football arena. He said: “The reports and figures we’ve seen tonight are undoubtedly a depressing statistic. Some Jewish fans are happy to call themselves the ‘Y’ word, but that sort of language shouldn’t have any place on the football field, or anywhere else and we need to make sure we kick it out.”

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