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Controversial question forces Sky Sports to apologise after outrage from viewers

A controversial question forces Sky Sports to make apology and correction during a debate over racism in football and online.

It comes after such Premier League stars as Chelsea’s Reece James and Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford were subject to racist abuse on social media last month.

Sky Sports News have issued a correction following a debate asking the question “if black players should come off social media”.

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The broadcaster set up a powerful debate between host Vicky Gomersall, Clinton Morrisson and Darren Lewis on Sunday night, and it certainly caused.

A video of it was uploaded to social media, showing the former top flight forward giving his thoughts when the hosts asked where black athletes should take their accounts off.

It has now seen Sky Sports News issue a correction following outrage on social media over the question asked during the debate.

Writing on the social media channel with the clip, the broadcaster said: “When we posted this video we subtitled Vicky Gomersall’s question to Clinton Morrison, with our edit showing Vicky asking if black players should come off social media.

“The actual question was to ask if black players should come off social media as it would hurt the companies.”

The original subtitles in the video, published by Sky Sports News on Instagram on Wednesday, read on the host’s question: “Would that be a solution?

“Not that I think it’s the right one.. because they garner so much attention and millions of people follow when?”

But the new video added at the end of Gomersall’s question: “And that would hurt the media companies.”

Morrison responded passionately to the question, with: “Yeah, you say that. But then some fans like to engage with footballers, decent fans and they like to talk.

“Look at the good stuff Marcus Rashford’s doing and how many tweets he sends out and stuff like that and Instagram.

“Why should they stop going on there because of the colour of their skin?

“If you’re going to tell them to stop, everyone should come off it then. Every individual should come off it.

“It shouldn’t be because you’re a black footballer, young black footballer or black person in the media, that you should have to come off social media because you’re getting racially abused.

“Nah, I’m sick and tired of it.”

Sky Sports wrote: “When we posted this video we subtitled Vicky Gomersall’s question to Clinton Morrison, with our edit showing Vicky asking if black players should come off social media. The actual question was to ask if black players should come off social media as it would hurt the companies.”

The controversial question made on Sky Sports caused outrage from viewers tuning in, here’s watch the said on social media…

@AfcImo: Still a terrible question

@cmatt13: Maybe we should all stop using sky.

@Scorpisonic: Sky should be thoroughly ashamed.. stop back tracking and offer a proper apology

@kiani_shariq: Black players shouldn’t, the racists should come off

@robboandrew: Oh Sky you are loving all of this your agenda goes on and on

@DFC19722: Why doesn’t Vicky Gommersall come off sky, that would be a good start…

@Jonny_Moon16: Congrats on editing a dumb question to sound even stupider.

@SuperSquand: This is really, really poor for so many reasons. Perhaps Sky Sports News and Vicky should come off social media? That might hurt Sky?!

@Dummackin911: Sky sports news have previous with this kind of thing… when will they learn.

@langelmessi: Vicky should be sacked end of

@Marc_wita_C on Sky Sports’ controversial question: What the actual fuck???

@JackGibbons23: What a ridiculous question

@redjigg: The attempt to cover up this racist bullshit is amateurish and blatant

Meanwhile, the likes of Jordan Henderson, Tyrone Mings, Karen Carney have come together to discuss online abuse with the government.

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden and Sports Minister Nigel Huddleston had a Zoom call with the the footballers, pundits and eight other football personalities, including Watford’s Troy Deeney and retired player turned broadcaster Anton Ferdinand.

Ferdinand recently was part of the much talked about BBC documentary about his experiences with racism from John Terry, while Karen Carney has taken down her Twitter account after receiving sexist abuse from Leeds supporters after being publicly criticised by the Premier League outfit.

They were asked to share their experiences of getting abuse, while ministers revealed plans to tackle online harms in a new bill which will come before Parliament this year.

Dowden admitted: ‘To hear players talk about the level of abuse they have faced was humbling. Their input today has strengthened my resolve to bring in new laws to ensure there is much greater accountability from the social media platforms for dealing with such problems.’

Liverpool’s Henderson expressed: ‘The meeting was very important and I’m pleased that those with power and authority to enact change realise the seriousness of the abuse towards players.’

Aston Villa defender Mings, who has previously spoken out about racist abuse on social media, said: ‘I was pleased that the Secretary of State wanted to engage with, and listen to, the thoughts of us as players and ex-players. Hopefully this adds context when he attempts to deliver change on behalf of us.’

Women’ players Renee Hector and Rinsola Babajide also made an appearance on the call, along with the FA’s Paul Elliott, the PFA’s Simone Pound and Shaka Hislop who represents Show Racism the Red Card.

Because careful or at least have some common sense when it comes to posting on social media, because it would seem that punishments will only be getting stricter.

Brentford’s Ivan Toney recently received racist abuse on social media, with a Facebook and Instagram spokesperson said: “There is no place for racism in football or on our apps. We have deleted the comment and removed the user from the platform.”

Quite astonishing really they have taken this stance, something a huge number of players had wanted for so long, so it’s good to see them actually doing something about it now.

Toney posted on his Instagram story a screenshot of a user who had replied to a post on his page using the N-word.

Sanjay Bhandari, chair of anti-racism charity Kick It Out, said: “The comment Ivan Toney received on his Instagram page was unacceptable and we are glad the individual responsible was swiftly removed from the platform.

“We are working closely with the football authorities, law enforcement and social media organisations to find solutions to tackle online abuse and bring about real change, in order to give players greater protection moving forward.

“Situations like this show us once again that online hate must have real-life consequences. People feel they are free to say want they want online, because they think there will be no consequences – but that must change.

“We hope that information about the perpetrator will be shared with law enforcement too, to enable further appropriate action.”

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