No Room For Racism

Choudhury: Team's support helped me deal with abuse

7 May 2021

Leicester midfielder says opening up to team-mates about discrimination suffered online helped him to cope

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Having people in your corner is important when you are going through difficult times.

So when Hamza Choudhury was subjected to racist abuse online, the support of his Leicester City team-mates helped him cope with the impact.

"I screenshotted it and put it in our team group chat," the midfielder says of the abuse. "Everyone was saying how disgusting it was and to obviously report it, which I did.

"[They said] they were sorry that there were people like this - ignorant people - that still think it's OK to hide behind fake accounts, or even real accounts.

"It made me feel instantly a lot better knowing that you're not by yourself."

The 23-year-old was speaking about his experiences of racism in support of the Premier League's ongoing No Room For Racism initiative, which includes a series of educational resources available to more than 18,000 primary schools through the Premier League Primary Stars programme.

Resources are also available to young people on the Premier League Kicks and Premier League Inspires programmes.

See: PL Primary Stars: This is Everyone's Game - Black Voices

'Being different is good'

In the video for schoolchildren, Choudhury talks about growing up in Loughborough and how his mother taught him the importance of self-worth. He also explains how talking about issues helped him deal with racism when he was young.

"My mum prepared me the best she could but it hurts, really and truly," he says. "No matter how much you can prepare yourself or how much you can look at it, it’s not a nice feeling. 

"Don’t lock it away, no matter how strong a person you feel you are. Everyone needs to talk."

Hamza Choudhury, Leicester City

"To be discriminated [against] for something that you have no choice in is probably the worst feeling, but my mum taught me that being different is good; loving yourself is so important.

"It can affect you, especially mentally, but my mum also taught me to talk about it. Don’t lock it away, no matter how strong a person you feel you are. Everyone needs to talk, and everyone needs to get it off their chest."

'Don't let it stand'

No Room For Racism is urging fans to challenge and report racism whenever they see it, a message Choudhury is eager to support.

"Don't stand for it in any way, shape or form," he says. "Report the person and talk about it.

"It's easy to be in a situation and take the back seat and say that it doesn't affect you, but it does.

"To be a bystander is almost as bad as committing the act yourself. So definitely speak out and do not let it stand."

Reporting abuse

The Premier League's online abuse reporting system is helping players, managers and their family members who receive serious discriminatory online abuse. Each case is rapidly reviewed, reported to the relevant social media company and investigated. Where appropriate, legal action is taken. 

The League and clubs are also encouraging fans to play their part in the fight against racism by reporting it whenever they encounter it.

See: How to report racism

In January, the Premier League launched its No Room For Racism Action Plan, outlining a series of commitments aimed at creating greater access to opportunities and career progression for Black, Asian and other minority ethnic groups in football, and actions to eradicate racial prejudice.

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