Euro 2020: could Twitter stop racist abuse before it happens?

Nicole Ferdinand, John Bustard, Nigel Williams

Research output: Other contributionpeer-review


As excitement built in England ahead of the Euro 2020 final against Italy, fans took to Twitter to express pride in their diverse and inspiring team. There was also a sense of nervous anticipation at the chance to win a major tournament for the first time in 55 years. Many used the hashtag #Euro2020final to join the conversation before and during the first half of the match.

Following a crushing defeat by penalty shootout, a dark but familiar picture emerged. Some Twitter users under #Euro2020final posted racist messages against England’s black players, Bukayo Saka, Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho.

Tweets using #Euro2020final became a sobering reminder of the deep schisms that run through English society. For black British citizens, the tweets reflected a disheartening message about their continued exclusion from mainstream British culture.
Original languageEnglish
TypeEuro 2020: could Twitter stop racist abuse before it happens?
Media of outputWeb
PublisherThe Conversation
Number of pages4
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 13 Jul 2021

Bibliographical note

Dr Nicole Ferdinand (Oxford Brookes), Dr John Bustard (Ulster University) and Dr Nigel Williams (University of Portsmouth) are part of the research collective RUAIRE, which stands for Responsible Use of AI in Recreation and International Events. The research in this article is part of a larger body of work that is dedicated to using AI and other technologies to improve society. This research has previously benefitted from funding from the Ulster University Research Challenge Fund. For more information, see:


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