Racism, football fans, and online message boards: how social media has added a new dimension to racist discourse in English football

2015-06-17T10:42:56Z (GMT) by Jamie Cleland
This article presents the findings of a discourse analysis carried out from November 2011 to February 2012 on two prominent association football (soccer) message boards that examined fans’ views towards racism in English football. After analyzing over 500 posts, the article reveals the racist discourse used by some supporters in their online discussions and the extent to which posts like this were either supported or contested by fellow posters. The overall findings are that social media sites like fan message boards have allowed racist thoughts to flourish online, in particular by rejecting multiculturalism and Islam through the presentation of whiteness and national belonging and an outright hostility and resistance towards the Other. Despite this, the majority of posts that contained some form of racist discourse were openly challenged.