Liverpool women’s winger Rinsola Babajide has described the abuse she suffers online as “exhausting and tiring” but is hopeful that the recent boycott of intersport social media can inspire positive change.
The 22-year-old recently shared a screenshot of the racist and sexist abuse sent to her on Instagram in April, one of several athletes targeted on social media platforms in recent months.
Although she has come to the conclusion that she is no longer surprised that the abuse is occurring, Babajide is adamant that the perpetrators will not prevent her from playing the sport she loves.
Speaking on Sky Sports’ Women’s football fair, Babajide said: “The recent thing that has happened is just someone who is sexist and racist towards me under one of my posts.
“It’s exhausting and tiring but I can’t say I’m surprised because it’s happened so often.
“As a black woman in the game, I just feel like it’s part of the sport because it’s happened so often. I just have to make sure I stay strong, ignore it, and keep doing what I love.
“Even my parents and family members parading, they’re sick of it.
“It has happened so regularly that no one is really surprised. They (my family) just want to make sure it doesn’t affect me.
“We have always been told as professional athletes that we should speak out, try to make a change.
“A lot of us have spoken out and social media platforms are still not responsible.”
In case of abuse, Babajide contacts his agent who then contacts the relevant authorities and social media platforms.
In his case, the offending account was closed, but Babajide wondered how people deemed abusive could create another account under a new, often anonymous profile.
While admitting that the kinds of changes needed may be slow to occur after a four-day social media boycott in sports such as football, rugby, cricket and tennis, the need for education remains an issue. vital importance.
She also hopes that social media companies can put in place stricter measures to make it more difficult to access their platforms.
“The person who sent me these messages created a new account right after,” Babajide added. “I don’t understand why they are allowed to make another one.
“I don’t expect a miracle to happen right now. I know it will take time to educate everyone and let them know that discrimination is not fair.
“Hopefully social media platforms let us know that they don’t endorse and end negative words people use on social media – that it makes it harder to verify your account and have an account on them. social media, or if it’s disabling them and quickly deleting the negative comments they see. “
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