The atmosphere around football in the present day is somewhat volatile. For that matter, so is the general socio-political climate.
Not a day seems to pass at the moment without news of some form of abuse online against footballers, protest-related incidents both in the US and the UK, or other dispiriting headlines splashed across the front pages of the papers. A negative climate of societal division seems to have built up over the course of the pandemic, alongside the tragic loss of life to the virus itself.
Yet, if anything good has come from the last year, it’s an increased awareness. A growing understanding of why we must value those around us, and an increased awareness of the very real issues of racism, sexism, and other social issues that sadly still exist in the 21st century.
Countless incidents of, especially, racist abuse online against black footballers have seen players – and in the case of Birmingham City and Swansea City, clubs, too – boycotting social media due to the pandemic within the pandemic of hate against professional sportspeople that seems to have erupted in the last few months. Targeted, senseless abuse seems to be commonplace on social networks, in the footballing sphere more than anywhere, sadly.