The Premier League has launched its No Room For Racism Action Plan, as a number of players continue to be subjected to racial abuse.
While the competition has previously had to deal with incidents of racism from certain sections of supporters at matches, players are also now being targeted with abuse online.
In the past 10 days, both Manchester United and Chelsea have condemned incidents of racism on social media, with England internationals Marcus Rashford and Reece James among those targeted.
The Rashford attacks came just days after his team-mates Anthony Martial and Axel Tuanzebe were also abused, with United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer calling on social media platforms to do more to prevent the “unacceptable behaviour”
Since the competition resumed in June last year following a coronavirus-enforced suspension, players, managers, coaching staff and match officials have all taken a knee prior to kick-off in every Premier League game in support of the Black Lives Matter campaign.
— Premier League (@premierleague) February 9, 2021
The league has now taken another step to tackle the problem, introducing the No Room For Racism Action Plan.
The proposals have been given unanimous support by the 20 Premier League clubs at last week’s shareholders’ meeting, and has six key commitments.
These include committing to increased diversity in leadership positions in all areas, with the Premier League setting itself a target of having 18 per cent of staff from a black, Asian or ethnic minority background by 2026, while also having 42 per cent of roles filled by women by the same year.
In coaching, the league will aim to develop more black, Asian, ethnic minority and female coaches, while it will work to ensure that every player has the opportunity to achieve their potential at Premier League academies and in their future careers, whether in football or elsewhere, regardless of ethnicity or background.
“Football is a diverse sport, which brings together communities and cultures from all backgrounds,” Premier League chief executive Richard Masters said in a statement.
“This diversity has made the game stronger on the pitch and it is vital we ensure this is reflected across all areas of the game.
“There is no place for racism in our sport and the Premier League will continue to take action against all forms of discrimination so that football is inclusive and welcoming for all.”