Shaun Goater joins forces to kick racism out of football
Shaun Goater is doing his part to combat the abuse and discrimination that Black players in the English game have been subjected to on social media.
The former Manchester City and Bermuda striker has joined forces with the Premier League, Football League and Women’s Super League clubs in a four-day boycott of Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, which began yesterday.
“They are trying to have the owners of these companies take a stance to fight against people that make derogatory statements to, in particular Black players, so this is the stance that clubs are getting behind in the hope that it will impact,” Goater told The Royal Gazette.
The Football Association, as well as league bodies and other organisations, including anti-discrimination charity Kick it Out, will also be involved.
The boycott comes in the wake of the online abuse received by that David McGoldrick, the Sheffield United striker, and Neal Maupay, the Brighton & Hove Albion forward.
Liverpool, the Premier League champions, said racist abuse on social media “cannot be allowed to continue” after Trent Alexander-Arnold, Naby Keïta and Sadio Mané were targeted in April.
Sky Bet Championship club Swansea City turned off their social-media accounts for a week to make a stand against abuse after a number of their players had been targeted.
Championship rivals Birmingham City and Scottish champions Rangers then followed Swansea's lead in announcing a boycott of social media.
Thierry Henry, the former Arsenal and France striker, removed himself from all social media in March because of racism and bullying across platforms.
Meanwhile, the demonstration comes with Goater’s former club City on the verge of a seventh Premier League title, which they can clinch over the weekend.
Pep Guardiola’s squad can wrap up the title with victory away to Crystal Palace today coupled by city rivals Manchester United losing at home to Liverpool tomorrow.
“City has been absolutely brilliant this season and are totally deserving because in probably the most difficult of seasons, in terms of the amount of games that they have had back-to-back and for the longest while, to have been challenging for all four trophies, including the Champions League, [Carabao Cup], FA Cup and the league,” said Goater, who netted 84 goals in 184 appearances for City between 1998 and 2003.
“It’s been a phenomenal season, so if Liverpool care to lend a hand, City will take it. But it’s inevitably going to end up at City, so either way City will be pleased because they’ve worked really hard and it’s been a brilliant season by all concerned.”
City have already won the Carabao Cup and hold a 2-1 advantage over Paris Saint-Germain after the first leg of their Champions League semi-final.
Asked what has brought his former team success to this point, Goater said: “The key to success has been about the team; it’s never been about an individual or a couple of individuals.
“What we are seeing is Raheem Sterling and the great form he had for the best part probably three quarters of the season. He’s not been in the best of form in the recent games, but City are still able to go and do absolutely brilliant.
“It’s the same when we‘ve had Kevin de Bruyne out for times and the club has been able to go on and produce performances — and we thought we’d miss him.
“Players have come in and stepped up and kept that game at the same level or taken it to another level. They are hungry to show they can do just as well or better when given the opportunity, so a total team performance has been the key.”