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The spectre of racism: letter to Andrew Murrison MP

July 14, 2021 5:27 PM
By Ellen Nicholson

Dear Andrew,

I am sure you will agree with me that the achievements of Gareth Southgate and the England team during the European championships have been inspiring. I hope you also agree that the racial abuse of some players from a minority of fans is unacceptable.

I call on you to publicly condemn these actions and call on the prime minister to act so that those guilty of racial abuse receive bans from all sporting events. I know there is a petition stating a ban for life, but in actuality, a temporary ban for a set number of years may be a more effective measure initially.

Players took the knee to show solidarity and raise awareness of racial inequality and abuse and this sadly is on record as having been dismissed by senior members of the Government, despite protestations to the contrary in today's Prime Ministers Questions. The actions of a few after the match on Sunday night show why taking the knee is required.

I applaud the action taken to ask social media companies to do more to tackle online racism, but it is not just the responsibility of tech companies, rather it is an individual and collective responsibility within society in the words we use and the behaviours we condemn or condone. We should stand against racism, it is not good enough to just say we aren't racist, we need to be anti racist and call it out when we see it.

I look forward to your reply.

Best wishes

Ellen Nicholson
Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for South West Wiltshire

(Emailed to Andrew Murrison MP)
Please to note response received 14-07-21 stating
"I abhor racism in all its forms and draw your attention to the legal penalties for those engaged in hate crime against people with protected characteristics which include race and religion. On taking the knee, its a matter of personal choice and I respect the intent and motivation of people doing it."