West Ham United forward Michail Antonio has spoken with pride about the Club’s approach to equality, diversity and inclusion, amidst the ongoing social media boycott.
The Club was recently awarded the Premier League’s Equality Standard Advanced level, recognising the Club’s ongoing dedication and commitment to becoming an equity leader, devoted to forging a better future.
This weekend, West Ham United are not posting via our Club’s official social media channels in response to the ongoing and sustained abhorrent racist and discriminatory abuse received online by players, fans and many others connected to football and beyond.
While it is acknowledged that, in isolation, a social media boycott will not eradicate the scourge of online abuse, it does demonstrate the seriousness with which the game takes this ongoing issue and that it is willing to take proactive steps in this continued fight.
Such solidarity across Premier League clubs, The FA, EFL, FA Women’s Super League, FA Women’s Championship, PFA, LMA, PGMOL, Kick It Out, Women in Football and the FSA will provide the boycott’s strength, Antonio reasons.
No-one can do it on their own. We have to do it together and, as long as we are doing it together, that’s when things will change
Processes are in place at the Club to filter, block and take down offensive posts and report individuals to the social platforms and relevant authorities, but it is a widely held view that believe social media companies must do more to protect everyone from hurtful and damaging comments.
“I think it [the boycott] is the right thing to do,” the 31-year-old explained.
“No-one can do it on their own. We have to do it together and, as long as we are doing it together, that’s when things will change.”
No priority is greater to the Club than honouring its heritage of unity and inclusivity which runs throughout the West Ham United family – and that starts by combatting online abuse.
As part of that fight, the Club ensures that support is available to our players and staff should they receive any type of online abuse.
Professional staff are available, at all times, to discuss any matters and assist them with reporting individuals as part of a Club-wide approach to tackling discrimination.
The No30 added: “The Club provides great support.
“When you receive racist abuse, you can tell them about it and they challenge it straight away.
“They put it out there and challenge it and get things blocked, and that is quality.”
Following West Ham United’s recent opposition to the proposed European Super League, and its subsequent cessation, the Club was proud to call for attentions of the footballing world – captured in that moment of unity – to turn towards the battle against racist and discriminatory abuse.
Antonio recalled: “I’m very proud [of the Club].
“Even when it came out about the European Super League, West Ham responded about it and when the Super League was finished, West Ham said now that has been done, it’s time to take a step forward with [tackling] the racism.
“The way most people spoke about the Super League, how people disliked it and the way people challenged it, was different to the way people respond and challenged it whenever it came to racism in the past.
“I love the way West Ham responded to it, and hopefully we can move forward as a country, as people and as human beings and we can challenge it together.”