Footballers discuss online abuse with UK government ministers

Liverpool's Jordan Henderson reacts during the game against Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium, Manchester November 8,2020. — Reuters pic
Liverpool's Jordan Henderson reacts during the game against Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium, Manchester November 8,2020. — Reuters pic

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LONDON, Jan 26 — Top English football players including Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson and former women’s international Karen Carney discussed online abuse and discrimination with government ministers on Monday.

The online round table with Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden and Sports Minister Nigel Huddleston was part of a series of ‘Future of Football’ discussions.

The government is planning a fan-led review of football governance and new laws to hold to account social media companies for online harm. The Bill is due before Parliament this year.

“To hear players talk about the level of abuse they have faced was humbling,” Dowden said in a statement.

“Their input today has strengthened my resolve to bring in new laws to ensure there is much greater accountability from the social media platforms for dealing with such problems.”

Carney this month deleted her Twitter account after her remarks about Leeds United, while working as a television pundit, were ridiculed by the Premier League club’s official account and led to a torrent of online abuse.

Others attending the roundtable included Watford captain Troy Deeney, former West Ham United player Anton Ferdinand and Aston Villa’s Tyrone Mings.

“The meeting was very important and I’m pleased that those with power and authority to enact change realise the seriousness of the abuse towards players,” said Henderson. — Reuters

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