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PFA to demonstrate severity of racism in football by presenting social networks with tranche of evidence

Sam Dean
Raheem Sterling has been a leading voice against racism - Getty Images Europe

The Professional Footballers’ Association will demonstrate the severity of football’s racism problem by presenting social networking sites with a tranche of evidence.

The PFA, which last week instigated a social media boycott by leading footballers, is collating examples of racist abuse and has set up an email address to help members report racism.

The latest step in their campaign comes as James Tavernier, the Rangers captain, revealed a racially abusive message which he had been sent on Instagram. Tavernier last week joined the calls for more to be done to combat racism in football.

The PFA plans to take its evidence to Mims Davies, the sports minister, and social media sites Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. It believes more than 90 million people were reached by its ‘Enough’ boycott, which was supported by a string of international footballers.

Facebook contacted the PFA after the social media campaign began on Friday last week and is set to meet the union in the coming weeks. The PFA is also scheduled to meet the Football Association and campaign group Kick It Out next month.

"Players, fans and other organisations all joined together to use their platforms in a really powerful way to highlight that racist language and discrimination of all kinds is unacceptable in football and society,” said Simone Pound, the head of equalities at the PFA.

"Now that we have made such an impact, we have to follow that up with empowered action. That's why we're asking members to share any evidence of racist abuse they've received with us.

"We will collate everything we receive together and share that at our meetings with government and social networks. The response we receive at those meetings will determine the next steps of the campaign, but we will continue to update our members of campaign progress publicly."

The campaign follows a series of high-profile incidents of racist abuse this season. In the space of just a few weeks in December, a banana skin was thrown towards Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubayemang and Raheem Sterling was abused during a match against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.