Belief that racism is a serious problem in English football shoots up following Euro 2020

Connor IbbetsonData Journalist
July 22, 2021, 9:46 AM UTC

One in three of those who previously didn’t think it was a serious problem now do so

Following England’s loss in a penalty shoot-out at the Euro 2020 final, Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho, and Bukayo Saka – black players who missed their attempts on goal – were all met with a torrent of racist abuse online, with murals to the players were later defaced with racist graffiti. However, fans and players alike have been quick to condemn the abuse, and rally around those targeted.

Following the racist abuse hitting the headlines, seven in ten football fans in England (71%) now think that professional English football has a serious problem with racism, a rise of 17 percentage points since the opening stages of the tournament in June.

This represents a significant conversion among those who had previously acknowledged that racism existed in English football, but did not consider it to be serious: 36% previously had held this view, but this has now shrunk to 24%.

Only 2% of fans think that racism does not exist at all in English football.

Awareness is not limited to only those interested in the sport. Among the general public, opinion shows a similar change, with two thirds of English adults (66%) thinking professional football has a serious racism problem compared to 46% who held this opinion in June.

The abuse has also brought renewed focus on the English team taking a knee before each of their matches in protest against racial inequality. Our latest data shows that six in ten (60%) English fans support the action, an increase of five points compared to the week before the Euro 2020 final, and seven points compared to mid-June.  

A significant proportion (32%) remain opposed to the team taking a knee, however this opposition has decreased by ten percentage points compared to June.

See full results here