Everton, Liverpool, Manchester City and Manchester United issue joint statement condemning racist abuse

Joint statement from Everton, Liverpool, Manchester United and Manchester City: "We stand shoulder to shoulder in saying there is no room for racism, hate or any form of discrimination in our beautiful game. It should not happen and it must stop"

Manchester United and Liverpool players take the knee
Image: Manchester United and Liverpool players take a knee

Everton, Liverpool, Manchester City and Manchester United have issued a joint statement condemning the racist abuse endured by multiple professional footballers in recent weeks and months.

The four clubs joined the Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham, and Mayor of Liverpool City Region Steve Rotheram, plus Greater Manchester Police and Merseyside Police, in coming together to support Hate Crime Awareness Week.

"This weekend the four Premier League clubs of Manchester and Liverpool play each other in our two city-regions," the statement read.

"Today Manchester United, Everton, Manchester City and Liverpool have come together to support Hate Crime Awareness Week in Greater Manchester.

"Our four great North West clubs are united with the Mayors of Greater Manchester and the Liverpool City Region, and both Greater Manchester Police and Merseyside Police. We condemn the racist abuse that too many players, officials and supporters continue to encounter, most recently on social media platforms.

"We stand shoulder to shoulder in saying there is no room for racism, hate or any form of discrimination in our beautiful game. It should not happen and it must stop."

January 27, 2021, Manchester, United Kingdom: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer manager of Manchester United during the Premier League match at Old Trafford, Manchester. Picture date: 27th January 2021. Picture credit should read: Simon Bellis/Sportimage(Credit Image: © Simon Bellis/CSM via ZUMA Wire) (Cal Sport Media via AP Images) 1:26
Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says action must be taken to stamp out the racist abuse that a number of footballers have suffered

Manchester United duo Axel Tuanzebe and Anthony Martial were targeted with racist abuse on social media following a recent 2-1 defeat to Sheffield United, with Marcus Rashford revealing abuse he received after the following fixture, a goalless draw with Arsenal.

Southampton's teenage debutant Alex Jankewitz was then abused after his early red card in the 9-0 defeat to United at Old Trafford.

'Social media companies are dragging their feet'

Manchester United's Marcus Rashford (left) and Anthony Martial take a knee in support of the Black Lives Matter Movement before the Premier League match at Old Trafford, Manchester. Picture date: Wednesday January 27, 2021. 1:50
Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham tells Sky Sports News about his support for Hate Crime Awareness Week and explains why social media companies must do more to tackle racism on their platforms

Mayor of Greater Manchester Burnham called on social media companies to "step up" and hold themselves accountable if and when racist abuse is reported on their platforms.

Burnham says the aim of Hate Crime Awareness Week is to create a climate where hate speech is routinely called out and punished accordingly, but reiterated the role social media companies play in identifying culprits.

"It's crucial given what happened last week with players receiving abuse online, we've seen it often this season. It's time for a clear statement, to see the four great Premier League clubs from the Liverpool and Greater Manchester area make this statement is very powerful, it will get heard and respected from a vast majority of people," he told Sky Sports News.

"I'm hoping it creates a climate around the regions in all of our football grounds where hate, discrimination, any form of abuse or racism is simply not acceptable. Football helps us make great strides, it's often led the way when it has come to tackling racism.

"I want to see social media companies step up, I think they are lagging behind. It's 20 since laws were changed at football grounds, space was taken away from racists. If people made racist comments firm action could be taken.

"Social media companies are dragging their feet and saying it is also too difficult. They should be held accountable, they need, in my view, people's identity details to be attached to accounts."

Social media companies have reiterated their commitments to eradicating online hate and earlier this month Instagram's owner Facebook removed a user who racially abused Brentford forward Ivan Toney.

Hate Won't Stop Us

Sky Sports is committed to making skysports.com and our channels on social media platforms a place for comment and debate that is free of abuse, hate and profanity.

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This is the message from Sky Sports presenters and reporters, who have united in supporting a new campaign aimed at raising awareness of online hate and abuse on social media

For more information, please visit: www.skysports.com/hatewontstopus

If you see a reply to Sky Sports posts and/or content with an expression of hate on the basis of race, colour, gender, nationality, ethnicity, disability, religion, sexuality, age or class please copy the URL to the hateful post or screengrab it and email us here.

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Kick It Out is football's equality and inclusion organisation - working throughout the football, educational and community sectors to challenge discrimination, encourage inclusive practices and campaign for positive change.

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