As we emerge from the social media blackout today, we’ve used the time to reflect on what has been achieved through this particular moment and our wider #StopOnlineAbuse campaign.
Having spoken to our staff and players, whilst we all agree that this moment does not eliminate the problem, it has given us time to think about the action we must all continue to take.
We’re in the process of imposing a stadium ban on an Arsenal Member who was identified as using social media to incite violence against an Arsenal player and target an opposing player with discriminatory language.
Let us be clear, where we can identify a perpetrator as an Arsenal Member, we will take strong action.
During the blackout period, we used the time to arrange a meeting between Facebook and our players to discuss how they can keep themselves safer online and give them an opportunity to ask their own questions of the Facebook and Instagram platforms.
We’ve also reminded our players of the support network available to them within the club and how to report online abuse, so they understand the action they can take if they identify or receive discriminatory language or threatening violent behaviour.
We are hopeful the social media boycott has given us all a chance to reflect and push on with the action to place emphasis on asking social media companies to do more and strong legislation and active assistance for law enforcement agencies to identify and prosecute originators of illegal content.
Our own work in the community continues through a variety of inclusive projects including our education programme, What Can I Do? This programme gives us a chance to listen and understand the reality of some of the challenges faced by many young people, particularly in our black community and identify positive actions we can all take to be anti-racist. This work is far from over.
Arsenal’s participation in the social media boycott adds to a number of actions we’ve been taking to bring about change and fulfil our responsibility to protect our players and our diverse, global family and stamp out abuse. You can read more here