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Hunting The Football Trolls

Updated: Aug 19, 2022

What Can Be Done?

This was a really interesting programme, which showed the horror of abuse to players and the impact it has on both the players themselves and their families. Believing Patriotism is about Place NOT Race, Exit was very proud of ALL the English players who did such an amazing job this year and we were appalled at the abuse some players received. Looking for answers, what the programme highlighted was we ALL need to do something to reduce racism and hatred & it was great to see Channel 4 provide links to Exit @ (Thank you!) as the best way to challenge hatred is through education.

Understanding the mindset of far-right activists we know counter demo’s, threats & confrontation, does not work in changing people’s attitudes, education does. Confronting individuals, abusing them, threatening them or their family, often has a detrimental effect, as it push’s people further to embrace more militant forms of extremism, so there has to be another way. To reduce hatred, racism, and extremism, we believe the best way to do this is through education, compassion and understanding. We educate activists that their actions are not acceptable and we help people to take ownership about what they have done and what they have said, so they understand the damage people targeted by extremists go through. We show people that what the far-right say and do are two very different and that far-right extremism isn’t patriotic, highlighting real patriots stand against far-right extremism, just like we did in 1939.

We offer safe places to talk, so people can air their concerns, so they don’t have to go too extremists to be heard and then we offer alternatives to extremist thinking.

The road to change, isn’t easy. It’s hard and we need people with the expertise to be supported by people, businesses, and others to implement this change, which is slow, un-glamorous, but it works. From promoting the message that ALL extremism is wrong, to receiving training on what people can do, to funding staff to up-skill people and offer support to individuals involved and families with a loved one involved, there is a lot that can be done, and we need to work in partnership, highlighting the issues like this programme did and look for answers. Companies such as Facebook & Google (as well as others) like everyone do have a responsibility to tackle extremism and we are pleased to say that Facebook has supported the work of Exit UK now for many years helping us get the message out that ALL extremism is wrong and there is better path, away from racism, hatred, and extremism. Google to have worked with MOPAC to counter and reduce extremism ( So, what next? Partnership working is key. No-one can solve or reduce racism, hate and extremism on their own, so we need to work together and here at Exit, our door is always open to pioneers who want to take a different approach, think outside the box and do something different. If you believe racism, hatred and extremism is wrong and want to do something to reduce it, please get in touch at – and together we will reduce extremism.

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