Team Ireland athletes take strong stance against online abuse, discrimination and hate speech with new ‘Don’t Scroll By’ campaign
23rd February 2021, 12:07p.m.
The new initiative by the Olympic Federation of Ireland calls on the public and sporting stakeholders to take a zero-tolerance approach to online hate speech and to #DeleteBanReport it
FEBRUARY 23rd, 2021: Team Ireland athletes have collectively taken a stand against online hate speech this week as the Olympic Federation of Ireland launched their new campaign ‘Don’t Scroll By’. The campaign is an initiative of the Olympic Federation of Ireland’s Athletes’ Commission and has been launched with the support of Indeed, an official partner of the Irish Olympic team. It calls on the public and sporting stakeholders nationwide to adopt a zero-tolerance approach to online abuse, discrimination and hate speech, and to #DeleteBanReport any of this type of commentary they witness online.
‘Don’t Scroll By’ is a clear and strong statement by Team Ireland that there is no place for online abuse, discriminatory comments or hate speech on social media channels in Irish sport. They are calling on the Irish public and sporting stakeholders nationwide to join together as one to actively oppose hate speech and online abuse, and to react purposefully whenever they see it. The OFI is asking everyone involved at all touchpoints of Irish sport to take action and make a public stance by showing that as a nation, we are anti-racism, anti-discrimination and anti-hate speech.
The campaign was launched this morning with a new video, in which Team Ireland uses the Olympic Values of Striving for Excellence and Respect to highlight the power that people collectively have to eliminate hate speech from social media channels, to make online sport a hate free zone. You can view the launch video here: https://bit.ly/3dyxwLj
As part of the new initiative, the OFI will also officially become members of the Irish Network Against Racism (INAR) and will support their ‘Love Not Hate’ campaign and their lobby to government for the introduction of appropriate Hate Crime Legislation. They have also launched a new booklet with the support of Indeed, to support sport Social Media managers to #DeleteBanReport any type of hate commentary they witness online.
Speaking following the launch today, Chair of the Olympic Federation of Ireland’s Athletes’ Commission, Shane O’Connor stated: “We are extremely proud to launch ‘Don’t Scroll By’ today. Irish Olympic athletes have already overcome many hurdles and challenges to reach the top of their sport. As role models, they are in the public eye, and their performances are under scrutiny. However, they should never be targeted based on their identity or cultural background. Team Ireland athletes want to make a very strong statement that there is no place for online abuse, discriminatory comments or hate speech on social media channels. We know that the majority of Ireland does not agree with the small minority, and we are calling on that majority to stand up and play a role in tackling online hate. Together, we can tackle it.”
Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Catherine Martin TD stated: “The ‘Don’t Scroll By’ campaign that has been launched today by the Olympic Federation of Ireland is an extremely important initiative for all of us involved in Irish sport and across the wider Irish society. As a society, we must come together to adopt a zero-tolerance approach to online abuse and hate speech and ensure that this type of language and commentary is eradicated and dealt with. These athletes represent us on the national and world stages, and we are fully behind them to ensure that they can continue to strive for excellence. It is up to all of us to ensure that these athletes are not targeted online – or through any medium – by abuse or hate speech. We must stand together on this and fully support these athletes and I will do my utmost to help ensure that this approach is one that is adopted across all areas in my remit.”
Government Chief Whip & Minister of State for Sport, the Gaeltacht & Defence, Jack Chambers TD, said: “This new campaign from the Olympic Federation of Ireland is a really important campaign for all of us in Irish sport and across Irish society. ‘Don’t Scroll By’ highlights how important it is for all of us to support each other, regardless of background or culture. We are proud to join the OFI today in supporting a zero-tolerance approach to online abuse, discrimination and hate speech, and to call on everyone to #DeleteBanReport any of this type of commentary they witness online.”
Also speaking today, Irish sprinter, Leon Reid stated: “‘Don’t Scroll By’ is a key message for all Irish athletes. I use social media a lot but there is a very dark side to it. Social media gives everyone a platform to be whoever they want to be, but you can make a fake account in 30 seconds and can make all these negative comments and hide behind a screen. We all hope that everyone will get behind us to support us for this campaign and help us to take action and control.”
Conor Byrne, Marketing Director at Indeed added: “Racism and xenophobia have no place in any profession. Inclusion and Belonging are core values at Indeed, so we were delighted to partner with the OFI to create this booklet, which we hope will help people understand how to combat racism online.”
For more information you can log on to: https://olympics.ie/
The ‘Don’t Scroll By’ booklet:
The ‘Don’t Scroll By’ booklet has been created by the Olympic Federation of Ireland’s Athletes’ Commission and Indeed to help empower sport Social Media and Communication managers in organisations nationwide to take a strong and staunch zero-tolerance approach to online abuse, and discrimination and hate speech.
The booklet, which is illustrated by Ashwin Chacko, has been issued to all Olympic Federation member National Governing Bodies and is also available for download here: https://bit.ly/37zEY4L
It is a strong call to action to all of Irish sport to #DeleteBanReport online hate speech and help eradicate it from Irish Sport.
Dare to Believe Schools Module:
As part of the ‘Don’t Scroll By’ campaign, the Dare to Believe schools’ programme now includes a module highlighting the importance of not ignoring hate speech when you see it or hear it. Information about the Dare to Believe programme can be found on www.daretobelieve.ie
About the Irish Network Against Racism (INAR):
INAR is a membership organisation committed to combating racism and all related forms of discrimination in every sphere of life in Ireland. Their online https://www.ireport.ie/ tool is a racist incident recording system which allows INAR to record data and produce reports that help to advocate for improved public policy in Ireland and abroad. INAR uses iReport data in reports to Government, and international organisations such as the United Nations and the European Commission.
You can find out more about their ‘Love Not Hate’ campaign and sign the petition here: https://inar.ie/hatecrime/