Social media trolling affects almost a third of elite British sportswomen, BBC Sport survey finds

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Social media trolling affects almost a third of elite British sportswomen, BBC Sport survey finds

Elite British sportswomen have spoken out about “horrific abuse” on social media, telling a BBC Sport survey about fixed feedback on their look and sexist remarks questioning their proper to play sport.

Nearly a 3rd of respondents to the largest girls’s sport examine ever carried out by BBC Sport had been trolled – a determine that has doubled since the last survey in 2015.

Some athletes had acquired inappropriate photos and described the abuse as “threatening” and “scary”.

Because of the findings, BBC Sport has strengthened its stance on combating hate speech on its social media channels.

We now have dedicated to blocking individuals bringing hate to our feedback sections; we are going to report essentially the most critical circumstances to the related authorities and we are going to work to make our accounts type and respectful locations.

Minister for Sport Nigel Huddleston instructed BBC Sport: “The previous few years have seen implausible progress with girls’s sport beginning to get the profile it deserves, nonetheless it’s completely unacceptable that this visibility has been matched by an increase in on-line abuse of our sports activities stars.

“We now have set out world-leading plans that may make on-line platforms safer for customers, and we are going to proceed to interact with suppliers to see what extra could be accomplished.”

The BBC Elite British Sportswomen’s Survey was despatched to 1,068 girls in 39 completely different sports activities and acquired 537 responses. It’s the third time BBC Sport has carried out the in depth analysis, having first gauged opinions in 2013.

100 and sixty sportswomen – 30% of respondents – stated that they had been trolled on social media, up from 14% in 2015.

BBC Elite British Sportswomen’s Survey findings

Of their frank solutions, sportswomen spoke actually about a variety of points they should fight day by day.

These embrace sexism, racism and ignorance round considerations not confronted by male coaches, similar to intervals and the contraceptive capsule.

Findings included:

  • 86% (460) of sportswomen earn lower than £30,000 per yr from sport. That is lower than the imply annual gross pay in the UK in 2019, which was £30,629 in accordance with Workplace for Nationwide Statistics information
  • 36% (191) don’t really feel supported by their membership/governing physique to have a child and proceed to compete
  • 4% (22) have had an abortion as a result of they felt a child would impression their sporting profession
  • 60% (321) stated their efficiency is affected by their interval or that they had missed coaching/competitors due to it – however 40% (214) don’t really feel comfy discussing their interval with coaches
  • 20% (109) have skilled or witnessed racism of their sport
  • 65% (347) have skilled sexism of their sport however solely 10% (51) reported it
  • 21% (110) are involved they may have to surrender their sport due to the monetary impression of coronavirus
  • 85% (456) don’t suppose the media does sufficient to advertise girls’s sport however 93% (498) really feel protection has improved over the previous 5 years
  • 78% (416) are acutely aware of their physique picture
  • The total survey outcomes could be discovered here.

Tammy Parlour, chief govt of the Girls’s Sport Belief, instructed BBC Sport: “We now have seen plenty of constructive momentum in girls’s sport over the past 5 years, however it is a stark reminder that there’s nonetheless a lot extra to be accomplished.

“It is essential to see these outcomes as signs of the broader system, perceive what’s creating this atmosphere, and tackle the underlying causes.”

‘I hope you die of most cancers’ – Sportswomen share trolling tales

Abuse directed at sportswomen on social media was ceaselessly about physique picture, efficiency or telling athletes to “get again within the kitchen”. One sportswoman even acquired a picture of her membership’s crest filled with ironing boards.

One respondent described the abuse she acquired after a poor efficiency in competitors as “horrific” and admitted she thought of giving up her sport.

Darts participant Deta Hedman acquired racial abuse after shedding a match and was instructed by somebody that they “hope you die of most cancers”.

Olympic gold medallist hockey participant Susannah Townsend recollects the “terrible” and “scary” time her social media account was hacked in 2015, whereas footballer Rachel Newborough suggests athletes must be supplied extra help to deal with abuse.

One girl stated she acquired feedback on Twitter about her ethnicity, saying she is “probably not British”.

One other athlete, who’s a dimension six, had been referred to as “too fats” whereas another person described being featured on a profile that had been created purely to pick girls’s flaws. Her picture was posted with the muscle in her legs chosen because the flaw.

One respondent acquired the remark “girls should not appear to be this” on one in every of her Instagram posts, one other was instructed she is “too tall” and a 3rd was denigrated for having “massive shoulders”.

A jockey was instructed by a person after a fall that he “hoped the horse was OK and never you”, including that “a person ought to have been on it”.

A number of athletes stated the identical individual appreciated and commented on all their posts or direct messaged them, behaviour one sportswoman described as “threatening”.

Who took half?

The digital survey was despatched to representatives of archery, athletics, badminton, basketball, bobsleigh and skeleton, boccia, boxing, canoeing, climbing, cricket, curling, biking, darts, equestrian, fencing, soccer, goalball, golf, gymnastics, hockey, horse racing, judo, motorsport, netball, rugby league, rugby union, crusing, taking pictures, skateboarding, short-track and determine skating, snowboarding and snowboarding, squash, browsing, swimming – together with diving, desk tennis, taekwondo, tennis, triathlon, weightlifting. The survey was nameless.

We didn’t obtain responses from equestrian, gymnastics, motorsport, taking pictures and taekwondo.

Social media trolling is one in every of many points raised by the BBC Elite British Sportswomen’s Survey. BBC Sport can be shining a highlight on the others with protection all through the week on the BBC Sport web site, BBC Radio 5 Reside and BBC TV. Extra data could be discovered here.

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