Kick It Out appeal after record number of discriminatory behaviour reports


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Kick It Out has appealed for help from football’s stakeholders after receiving a record 1,007 reports of discriminatory behaviour during the 2022/23 season.

New figures released by the anti-discrimination organisation, which includes reports from the professional game, grassroots and social media, show a 65.1 per cent rise on the previous season.

Kick It Out received 207 more reports related to online forums and social media, an increase of 279 per cent, but racism remains the most common form of discrimination in the game.

It accounts for 49.3 per cent of the entire total while reports related to sexism and misogyny represented the largest rise in a specific discrimination type – leading Kick It Out CEO Tony Burnett to call for more support.

“The significant increase in reports across the game is alarming and strengthens our resolve to tackle discrimination in all areas of football,” he said. “Behind each of these statistics, is somebody who has sadly experienced discrimination, and supporting the victims of abuse remains Kick It Out’s utmost priority.

“While we continue to work tirelessly to Kick It Out, we call upon fans, clubs, leagues and governing bodies to help us with this cause, and we are encouraged that the number of reports per incident continues to increase, suggesting that people are becoming less tolerant of discriminatory behaviour and more likely to report abuse when they see it.

“Our figures provide a snapshot of what is happening across the game, but we still don’t know the full picture because clubs, leagues and governing bodies aren’t currently mandated to share their reporting data.

“This underscores why football urgently needs a centralised reporting mechanism to collate and monitor reports. Only once that happens can we understand the full extent of the problem within football and tackle it with the full force of the sport.”

Sky Sports in partnership with Kick It Out.
Sky Sports in partnership with Kick It Out

Kick It Out’s reports-per-incident rate has risen for the fourth consecutive season, suggesting fans are more inclined to report discrimination, but figures also show a 400 per cent increase in reports of sexism and misogyny across the board, up from 16 reports to 80.

It has been lifted by a massive spike in online abuse towards female players and supporters, from one report in 2021/22 to 46 this season.

Faith-based discrimination fell slightly due to a 29.5 per cent drop in the number of reports received of anti-Semitic nature, although Islamophobia (up by 300 per cent) and sectarian chanting in the professional game (15.8 per cent rise) both increased.

Discrimination reports in the professional game rose by 27.4 per cent to 484, which represents those received from the Premier League, EFL, National League, domestic cups, European and international competition, Women’s Super League and Women’s Championship.

There was a noticeable rise in reports of disability-based abuse within the professional game. There were nearly three times the number of reports of this nature compared to the 2021/22 season (23 reports, up from eight last season).

Meanwhile, Kick It Out has also seen a 55.1 per cent rise in reports from grassroots and non-League football with 242 reports, up from 156.

Racism continued to account for 50.8 per cent of grassroots reports while 43.4 per cent of overall incidents received were from U18s or younger age group games. Research conducted by Kick It Out suggests many incidents are still not reported.

Social media abuse comprised a much larger proportion of overall reports this season, making up 28 per cent of all reports received – up from 12.1 per cent last year.

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Alexandra Williams
Alexandra Williams
Alexandra Williams is a writer and editor. Angeles. She writes about politics, art, and culture for LinkDaddy News.

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