Anti discrimination campaigners, Kick It Out, have revealed a significant rise in reports of racism within football allover the UK in their 2017/18 mid-season report.
The campaign, which started in 1993, and eventually became an organisation in 1997, has spent the last two decades working frivolously to eradicate racism and discrimination from the game; and while recent years have seen such topics receive huge amounts of attention in a bid to remove discrimination of any form, the latest figures make for grim reading.
According to the report, football on all levels has seen an overall increase of discrimination of 59% - including racism (54%), homophobia, biphobia and transphobia (22%), as well as anti-semitism (9%).
One specific incident that brought racist behaviour into the media spotlight, was the heart breaking story of Liverpool's Rhian Brester, who opened up on his experience of racial discrimination during his years on the pitch.
Chair of Kick It Out, Lord Ouseley, has this to say on the matter:
"Our latest statistics reveal a significant increase in incidents of discrimination in football, which should act as a wake-up call to everyone in the sport.
“The spike in these mid-season reporting statistics come against the backdrop of rising hatred in our society, as recently shown in Community Security Trust’s publication of reported antisemitic incidents. These pieces of evidence indicate there is no place for complacency when it comes to challenging prejudice.
“In recent years, the football authorities have improved procedures it has in place to identify and challenge discrimination in the game and we are pleased that more people are aware of the reporting avenues available to them – but we must continue to ensure reporting processes deliver outcomes for perpetrators, as well as victims of hatred in football.
“Ultimately, tackling discrimination must be a collective effort. The leaders across all sections of society and football, as well as the broader public and football supporters themselves, need to take action, report discrimination and help us eradicate hatred.”