Kick It Out Football Survey: More Than Half Subject To Racist Abuse In Stadiums

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20th March 2014 15:29 - Sport, Leisure and Tourism

A recent poll of 200 professional footballers (32% black and minority ethnic) from across the Premier League (15%) and Football League (85%) has discovered that more than half (57%) of players have witnessed racist abuse in football stadiums. The majority (92%) of players believe fan-on-player discrimination is common or extremely common.

The findings concluded that an overwhelming majority (92%) felt Kick It Out has been effective in raising awareness of racism in football and seven in ten (71%) agreed the campaign has been effective in tackling the issue.

However, half (52%) of players agreed that there was still an issue around the lack of black and minority ethnic managers and coaches and overall felt the FA and police should have quicker and more consistent responses with harsher penalties for both fans and players.

Three fifths (62%) felt mandatory shortlisting should be in place for black and minority ethnic candidates applying for non-playing jobs in football. Seven in ten (70%) believed there should be greater transparency around the recruitment of managers and coaches, and how appointments are made.

Among players, two fifths (39%) reported that they have witnessed, and 3% subject to, homophobic abuse in football stadiums. 7% of players have been subjected to, and a quarter (26%) have witnessed, homophobic abuse on the training ground or in the dressing room.

Casey Stoney, England Women’s Football Captain, said:

“It shouldn't matter whether you are straight or gay, you should still back the programme and it's the same with racism; the Kick it Out campaign doesn't lack for support so I would like to see the same stance with homophobia as well.”

More than four-fifths (86%) of players agreed there needs to be an anti-discrimination campaign in football, with eighty-nine per cent saying that they will support the future of Kick It Out initiatives and events.

Kick It Out's Professional Player Engagement Manager, Paul Mortimer, said:

"There now needs to be a collective effort across football to act upon the feedback we've received and to put the necessary strategies in place."

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