No Room For Racism

Roberts: We can all play our part in tackling racism

19 Apr 2021

Leeds forward joins Leeds United Women's captain Bridie Hannon in urging people to speak out about racist abuse

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Leeds United forward Tyler Roberts believes speaking out against racist abuse is crucial to ending it.

Roberts discussed discrimination with Leeds United Women's captain Bridie Hannon as the Premier League reiterates to fans there is No Room For Racism, asking them to challenge racism wherever they see it.

The Wales international talked about the impact of receiving discriminatory abuse has had on him, and about team-mates who have been the target for online racist messages.

'Important to stand up'

"It was tough to deal with at first," Roberts said. "It's not something you signed up for when you first started to play the sport.

"It's very important to stand up for people that are suffering from this, because if you don't speak about it and let it go, then it's just going to keep happening.

"And I think the more we all bring these things to light, then the more action will be taken on these kind of situations."

'Social media must do more'

Roberts and Hannon both believe more must be done to tackle racism online.

"If you were in the street and you were racially abusing someone or the police heard, you wouldn't get away with it," Hannon said. "But because it's on social media you can almost do what you want."

Roberts added: "I don't understand why the social media platforms have not created a way of ensuring every account is verified so you're accountable for every single comment that you make.

"The racist abuse is by a fake account. Those will get deleted, but then they can just make another one. It's just way too easy."

See: How to report abuse on social media

Roberts says team-mates and colleagues acting as allies helped him to deal with being racially abused.

"No matter how much you try to not let it affect you, it can stick in your mind," he said. "I had some great coaches around me and my team-mates were supportive, and just helped me get over that moment.

"I did all the right things of going to the people that can do something about it, and it got dealt with."

Clear message

This weekend's Premier League matches have again been featuring No Room For Racism messages as the League and clubs continue to work together to fight racism and make it clear that any form of discrimination is unacceptable in football and wider society.

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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