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AC Milan signs manifesto against online hate speech

April 13, 2021 GMT

MILAN (AP) — AC Milan became the first Serie A club to sign the “Manifesto of Non-Hostile Communication for Sport” on Tuesday, with the aim of combating racism and other hate speech online.

There have been numerous incidents of players across Europe being targeted with racist abuse or other discriminatory comments on social media.

The manifesto containing 10 principles for responsible online behavior was created by non-profit association Parole O_Stili in conjunction with more than 100 athletes, clubs, teams, federations, companies, journalists and spokespeople involved in the world of sport.

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“The Manifesto of Non-Hostile Communication for Sport is another important step on the club’s social responsibility journey,” Milan CEO Ivan Gazidis said after signing it in an online event.

“We have decided to support this extremely worthy project to provide our global family of over 500 million Rossoneri with concrete guidelines aimed at creating an increasingly healthy and positive digital environment and banning intolerance and discrimination, in all its forms.”

Among the other speakers at the event were players Davide Calabria and Deborah Salvatori Rinaldi as well as the club’s honorary vice-president Franco Baresi and Parole O_Stili president Rosy Russo.

“We are happy to welcome the first Serie A team, and one of the world’s most prestigious clubs, to our community,” Russo said. “We believe that this is an important act of responsibility and of cultural change, which we hope can inspire others in football.”

Three British soccer clubs — Swansea, Birmingham and Scottish champion Rangers — announced week-long boycotts of social media last Thursday over the racist abuse sent on the platforms.

Twitter and Facebook-owned Instagram have declined interview requests recently from The Associated Press to discuss how they are working to eradicate racist abuse sent to players.

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