Derby County have condemned the racist abuse of forward Colin Kazim-Richards following their 1-1 home draw against rivals Nottingham Forest.
Derby released a statement on Saturday after the 34-year-old was targeted on social media and revealed it resulted in Kazim-Richards being forced to explain to his young children why he was being abused.
Kazim-Richards, who was born in London and has 37 caps for Turkey, scored an 84th-minute equaliser for the Rams against their east Midlands rivals Forest on Friday night and has been previously vocal in his support of the fight against racial injustice.
English football bodies recently sent an open letter to Facebook and Twitter demanding action on online racist abuse, while social media firms have also been threatened with billion-pound government fines over the abuse.
In an interview with Sky Sports News, Content Policy Manager Fadzai Madzingira, who works across Instagram and Facebook, said racism in football is a bigger problem than the abusive messages seen on social media.
“It was brought to the club’s attention on Saturday morning that Colin Kazim-Richards had received racially abusive messages via his social media platforms,” read a statement on Derby’s website on Saturday.
“The abuse received by Colin resulted in him having to have a conversation with his young children to explain why, in this day and age, racism and discrimination still exists.
“It should be clear, there is no place in sport or society for racism. Derby County has a zero-tolerance stance to discrimination and prejudiced behaviour and the racial abuse has been reported to the relevant authorities.
“Social media abuse is, sadly, becoming more common and it is all too easy for individuals to hide behind an account. This cannot continue.
“The club has a long-standing commitment to striving for equality and diversity, not only in football but in society, and strongly supports several nationwide campaigns as well as staging its own work in the local community.
“We are united in celebrating our diversity and we stand proudly with Colin, and all our players, to make it categorically clear that this behaviour is unacceptable and will not be tolerated.”
At Sky Sports, everybody is welcome – and that’s a message we are proud to share.
Inclusion is integral to Sky, and few activities bring people together like sport. Whether participating, watching the action live, or talking about the big event, we all deserve to get satisfaction, joy and entertainment out of the sports we love.
At Sky Sports we are committed to covering all aspects of sport.
We are committed to doing more to tackle racism, highlight racial injustice and support communities impacted by racism.
We are committed to capturing the excitement and passion of all sports. We will shine a light on the issues affecting under-represented groups in sport and be a force for good to help sports grow at all levels.
Sky is also committed to diversity in sport, both as an employer, broadcaster and publisher. As we say, everybody is welcome.
The social media companies are best placed to deal with harmful content on their platforms, and we would like them to do more. As a publisher on social media platforms, it is difficult for us to monitor and manage every comment that is posted and take action against every abusive or hateful comment.
But, we will use the power of our reach and our voice – and the voices of our people – to highlight the scale of online hate and the damage that it can inflict upon our people, the guests on our broadcasts and our customers.
We are committed to inspiring change. We will try to remove all hateful and abusive comments from our posts on our own and on social media channels.
We are committed to try to make Sky Sports’ website and our channels on social media platforms a place for comment and debate that is free of abuse, hate and profanity.
We will take the following action:
Sky Sports will use the power of its reach and voice to highlight the scale of online hate and abuse and the damage that it can inflict upon people
We will seek to remove as many abusive and hateful comments posted on skysports.com and our channels on social media platforms as we can
We will block users bringing hate to our comments sections on our website and channels on social media platforms
We will report hate and abuse to the social media platforms
We will report the most serious cases to the relevant authorities
We strive to make our channels respectful places where sporting conversations thrive
We will keep commissioning journalism that shines a light on social injustices and inequality in sport
We will work with the social media platforms and policymakers to make their platforms safer and more respectful
Kick It Out reporting racism
Kick It Out is football’s equality and inclusion organisation – working throughout the football, educational and community sectors to challenge discrimination, encourage inclusive practices, and campaign for positive change.