Show Racism the Red Card's Honorary President discusses online abuse and Stan Collymore's stand against racism
"Well played Stan Collymore. Well played for standing up, for speaking out, and for shining a light on an issue that isn’t easy for most to look at or to acknowledge."
Shaka Hislop, Honorary President, Show Racism the Red Card
"I follow Stan Collymore on twitter (@StanCollymore) for one reason- he has an opinion, on most things. Strong opinions that he’s willing to defend. Whether I agree with his opinion on any given matter is completely irrelevant here. At a time when you can predict exactly what most current and ex-players are about to say (it’s usually the day’s flavor of bland), I find Stan good for newspapers, tv, radio and twitter because he sparks debate and livens discussions."
"Now we all know the old cliché about opinions and who has them, so just as surely as people have first names that aren’t Stan, people may disagree with him. Again, that’s not the point. Stan recently expressed an opinion on twitter, his opinion, on an incident involving Luis Suarez. Somehow that went from people disagreeing with him, to disagreeing with him rather violently, to people saying things that were distasteful, to strong racial insults, to death-threats."
"Somewhere in that degredation all sights of Liverpool Football Club, Luis Suarez, football, and even humanity were lost. Twitter, a tool for the useful sharing of information and opinions had become the latest tool for bullying, seemingly abused by a group of adolescents, stoned on the apparent power that social media gives them."
"The debate, if I dare call it that, then turned to “freedom of speech”. The ignorant in the twitter-verse claimed as loudly as they could on social-media, more times than not in all-caps, that censoring what people had to say on twitter was effectively killing their God-given right. At no point taking notice that racial abuse and making death-threats, in print or otherwise, has been illegal for decades."
For those of us who truly envision a better world for our children to live in, witnessing the type of vile abuse that Stan had to endure isn’t easy. It’s downright worrying. But just as an amped-up minority all but erodes my belief in humanity, a majority came out against the distasteful comments, defending a right to an opinion, and restoring my faith in people and good old-fashioned debate.
"Well played Stan Collymore. Well played for standing up, for speaking out, and for shining a light on an issue that isn’t easy for most to look at or to acknowledge. Your right to an opinion is as valuable as our children’s right to a better world to live in. You will always have the support of all of us here at Show Racism the Red Card."