Seven admits ‘regrettable mistake’ in post on Euro 2020 racial abuse

Seven News Australia has issued an apology over a social media post it says contained a “mistake” in its caption, which was posted to Facebook following the final of the Euro 2020 football tournament yesterday morning local time.

The post in question, linked to an article condemning the racial abuse of English players, after England lost the match to Italy, was laden with the caption: “Three Black players failed in the penalty shootout which England lost 3-2 against Italy.”

The post caused an uproar across social media, particularly in football circles, with the sport suffering in a long battle against people using social media accounts as an anonymous way to air racial discrimination against players.

The post gained significant attention online after it was shared by popular football Twitter page A-League Memes, who pointed out that although the post had been edited to remove the word ‘Black’, the edit history was still free to see for any Facebook user.

A-League memes would be forced to apologise within a matter of hours, after tagging, Seven employee, social media manager Brenden Wood as part of several tweets responding to users.

“Under legal advice, we are making a full public apology to 7News Australia employee Brenden Wood that we tagged him under the tweet regarding 7News fb post, unintentionally implying he made the racist post. This is certainly not the intention. We apologise unreservedly to Brenden,” A-League memes said.

Around an hour and a half later, Seven had itself issued an apology for the post, in a separate news article.

“Earlier on Monday, a social media post was published with a regrettable mistake,” Seven said.

“The post linked to an article condemning the racial abuse of England football players following the team’s loss to Italy in Sunday’s Euro 2020 final.

“The caption on the post was swiftly rectified as soon as it was identified. We sincerely apologise for the offence the post caused.”

Football Australia has since weighed in, saying it was “disappointed” by the post and stands with the English Football Association.

“Three players, some of the most talented in global football, who gave their all for their national team, were subjected to vile and abhorrent abuse following the Euro 2020 Final.

“We were disappointed by the post from a major Australian broadcaster and we’re glad to see it rectified and a public apology issued.

“Australian football is a diverse and inclusive sport and brings together people of many backgrounds.”

Britain’s Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, has also publicly condemned the behaviour and abuse towards Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka.


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