UCFB Wembley student Piotr Klimowicz joined MPs and renowned sport industry figures in Westminster for the launch of a new campaign to raise awareness of football-related social media discrimination.

Piotr, a second year BA (Hons) Stadium & Events Management student, was at Kick It Out’s launch for Klick It Out alongside the likes of Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell MP and former Burnley FC captain and UCFB Tutorial Coordinator Clarke Carlisle.

The campaign is encouraging football supporters to kick social media abuse out of football and promote equality and inclusion within all factors of the beautiful game. Supporters can include the #KlickItOut hashtag when talking about the campaign and can also show their backing by sharing their ‘we need #KlickItOut’ message on social media.

Piotr’s role during the campaign will be to support Kick It Out in the challenge to counter football-related hate speech on social media. He will monitor the platforms during peak times when England are playing during Euro 2016 in France.

Piotr said: “Any missed penalty by England or incidents on the pitch are likely to start waves of improper posts and this is when I should pass them to the Kick It Out team.”

Alongside Clarke and Mr McDonnell on a panel discussing the issues of social media and the campaign was Kevin Hylton, a Professor of Equality and Diversity in Sport, Leisure and Education at Leeds Beckett University and Anna Jӧnsson, Reporting Officer at Kick It Out.

Speaking about the campaign launch, Piotr said: “The launch of the Klick It Out campaign was a great experience. It introduced us to the core of the problem, supported by shocking stats on how much football-related hate speech was posted online in recent years. On top of that, although the numbers increased in the last three years, still less than one percent of these posts are being reported. Therefore, there is a need for a campaign that would increase the awareness of the problem among society. 

“A powerful speech was given by Clarke Carlisle who shared the stories about racist chants he faced throughout his football career. He also informed the attendees that fans nowadays gain their knowledge from headlines rather than the content itself, which in his opinion is a problem that he tries to highlight and tackle with students through his role at UCFB.”

Any UCFB students that would like to help can do so by following this link: http://klickitout.org/get-involved-2/support-the-campaign/