RACIST trolls who abuse players online should be banned from gambling for up to ten years under new proposals put forward by the government.
The policy will put cowardly keyboard warriors who abuse players behind a screen on a par with thugs who hurl racist chants from stadium seats.
The latter may already face these bans, but so far online trolls have been able to use the mantle of social media to avoid facing such penalties.
This is completely wrong and that is why it is Home Secretary Priti Patel’s right move.
In fact, I see no reason why those who send the most gruesome racial slurs online at sports people shouldn’t be banned from attending matches altogether.
If they choose to exploit football to create an online cesspool of hate and abuse, they don’t have to be granted the privilege of watching games.
It’s firm but it’s fair. This is especially the right thing to do given the extent of the divisions in the country. After the rows and fights over Brexit and then Covid, football somehow brought us all together last year – if only briefly.
So protecting the sanctity of the beautiful game is paramount. That’s why we need tougher penalties to deal with what we saw after the Euro 2020 final.
When the England boys lined up to take their shots on goal in that hard-fought shootout against Italy last July, people across the country waited impatiently, praying desperately that the lads would finally bring it home. Three misses meant it must not be.
Watching Bukayo Saka – only a teenager at the time – cry on manager Gareth Southgate’s shoulder was heartbreaking. Decent people everywhere felt nothing but sympathy and pride in the team’s efforts.
But sadly, the Neanderthals among us jumped in line, angrily banging their keyboards to make monkey references and toss out the N-word.
Although some of them have sacrificed a few weeks of freedom after being sentenced to prison, I think people of this ilk would have to face a much harder sacrifice: giving up the right to attend any game.
Excommunicating them is the only way to send the message that racist abuse will not be tolerated in sport.
It’s a message that millions of regular, law-abiding supporters already understand and endorse.
Before Covid, English Football League attendance had reached a 60-year high. Only a tiny fraction of these supporters are racist.
Most are ordinary people who think the diversity of our teams reflects British values. This is exactly why those who are not on board should receive a red card.
I know some will call me a hypocrite for calling for harsh penalties for racism in football. This is because of my outspoken criticism of the Black Lives Matter organization in the past.
I still think it’s a useless pressure group with an ambiguous drop of manifesto.
He doesn’t have the answers to fight racism in this country.
Give a firm blow
But unlike critics who think anyone who criticizes kneeling is endorsing racism, I’m able to hold two thoughts in my head at once.
I may want to rid the sport of racism while being critical of the tactics used to do so.
I would like to see bans for racists, tougher penalties for those convicted of inciting hatred, and social media companies punished for failing to block and remove accounts that post abuse.
Yesterday a report by the House of Commons Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee called on the Government to consider withholding public funds from the England and Wales Cricket Board, and I am confident that should be extended to other sports groups and associations that drop the ball on eradicating racism in the locker room and on the stands.
Tens of millions of public money goes to football through grants alone, and if football organizations fail to tackle racism properly they should also face a financial penalty.
What happened after the Euro 2020 final will happen again. It’s reality. We can no more eradicate racism than we can completely eradicate hatred.
But we CAN ensure that when so-called football fans peddle racism online, the heavy hand of the law delivers a firm blow rather than a slap on the wrist.
FORMER Love Islander turned influencer Molly-Mae Hague has become a multi-millionaire after signing a seven-figure contract with hair care company Beauty Works.
The star was recently lambasted for her so-called ‘tone-deaf’ comments which suggested the poor could be successful if they worked harder.
The vitriol reaction was completely over the top. Molly-Mae is doing exceptionally well for herself, but she’s ultimately just one of many meaningless celebrities who dole out motivational advice.
It’s unfair that she’s being targeted in this way when celebrities are constantly offering pointless and nonsensical life advice.
In fact, if anything, she should be applauded.
She didn’t make a fortune by exposing everything online. Her 6.2 million Instagram followers aren’t allowed endless useless busty bikini photos.
On top of that, she recently championed the idea of ditching plastic surgery and going au natural. She’s as harmless as you can get as a social media influencer and people should leave her alone and let her be.
MILLER PARTY CACAO
ANTI-Brexit activist and chief narcissist Gina Miller on Thursday launched a new political party which she says will campaign for ‘constitutional reform’ and oppose ‘elective dictatorship’.
It’s a funny way of saying, « I’m still obsessed with overturning the result of a democratic vote that took place years ago. »
She says her party will “clean up politics” and restore trust in the political system.
Which is ironic because one of the reasons trust in politicians is so low is because people like her mock and shun millions of ordinary voters when voicing their opinions.
As if she didn’t sound delusional and selfish enough already, she added, “Whatever people say about me, I get results. The woman clearly has no sense of irony.
The only reason the public knows her name is because she hates the results. Specifically, democratic results.
It’s no wonder only 13 people showed up for the launch event – conveniently blamed on Covid.
The government may be in disarray and the opposition dismal, but I’ll take my chances with the two parties we have if Gina Miller is the alternative.
Tim to denounce counterfeiters
Tory MP Dr Luke Evans has introduced a bill in Parliament that would require paid influencers to post photos of themselves to reveal if their body images have been altered.
Evans says too many people are « caught up in the arms race for the perfect selfie, » and he’s right.
Young people are making unimaginable efforts to try to achieve the perfect body. Hospital admissions for eating disorders in children have increased by 41% in one year and are now 69% higher than before the pandemic.
The demand for cosmetic surgery is increasing.
For too long, stars have profited from passing off drastically altered photos of themselves as real.
Anyone who thinks it doesn’t have an insidious effect on young people’s body image is massively mistaken.
Some people criticized the bill for « over-regulating » social media and censoring free speech.
For me, it is the right to have all the information on the products you consume.
Celebrities are paid to post their images to promote products – and they must not escape scrutiny.
A bit silly
M&S has changed the name of its Midget Gem candy to not offend people with dwarfism.
The academic who campaigned for sweets to be renamed and who has a growth problem herself, said the word ‘dwarf’ was a throwback to Victorian monster shows that dehumanized people with dwarfism.
Do we really need to be so absurd? Because if we go that route, I might as well ask that Galaxy Minstrels be renamed because of the shows that saw the performers wear blackface.
Next it will be KitKat Chunky on the chopping block to shame the fat, and Smarties to shut out the thick people.
I’m all for more inclusive language, but the offense bandwagon is heading for a one-way trip to Crazy-ville.