Racism towards black athletes is “getting worse” and social media companies need to be doing more to tackle online abuse, four-time Olympic champion Mo Farah has said.
Footballers Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka were sent racist abuse after missing penalties in England’s defeat to Italy in the final of Euro 2020 on Sunday, with Saka admitting he “knew instantly” the hateful messages he would be sent following the match.
Farah said he has received some “shocking” racist comments online and has been left dismayed following the lack of action from social media companies to remove the abusive comments.
The 38-year-old called on those platforms to be “held accountable” and said more needs to be done to “shame” those who send racist abuse online.
“It seems like it’s getting worse in my honest opinion because back in my time there was never as much social media,” Farah, who won double gold in the 2012 and 2016 Olympic Games, told the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire.
“I’ve had some shocking ones, I’ve had certain things to say ‘you don’t belong’, ‘move here’, I’ve had quite a bit. The social media companies need to do a lot more, they need to be held accountable to what people get up to.
“I’ve had some shocking ones where people send the message and I’ve gone ‘delete’, I’ve blocked, I’ve gone report, gone back to the report and nothing’s been done, nothing happens.
“How do we make it even harder for these people? So when you sign up, you go put your passport (details) in, driving licence, your address, so automatically you’re there.
“These people have jobs, have family to feed, they might be quite high up in their jobs so their company should be aware of what they’ve been up to. Let’s shame them in the ways that we can.
“I know there’s more to be done and I think social media companies need to do more.”
Farah missed out on the opportunity to defend his Olympic 10,000m title after falling short in his bid to qualify for this summer’s Games in Tokyo.
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