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KICK IT OUT STATEMENT

2 April 2014

Restorative Justice outcome following offensive comment on Facebook

Football’s equality and inclusion campaign Kick It Out have issued a statement today regarding an offensive Facebook comment directed at Norwich City manager Chris Hughton in September 2013.

The statement on Kick It Out’s official website read:

A man in his 40s from Norfolk has accepted a Restorative Justice outcome after posting an offensive comment on Facebook directed at Norwich City FC manager Chris Hughton in September 2013.

The man, who was reported by Kick It Out to Norfolk Police, has issued an apology on the unofficial fan page where the offensive comment appeared. As part of the Restorative Justice process, the offender will meet representatives of Kick It Out to undertake further education.

Kick It Out issued the following comment: “Since September, Kick It Out has been working with Chris Hughton, Norwich City FC and Norfolk Police on this case, and a Restorative Justice outcome has been agreed by all parties.

“A full apology has been published for the comment, and the offender will now meet with Kick It Out to learn from the experience and prevent further misuse of social media.

"This case acts as a reminder to social media users that posting offensive or discriminatory remarks will not be tolerated. Everybody using these platforms has a responsibility to do so in an appropriate manner."

The offender published the following message on the unofficial fan page to apologise for the offence caused:

"On 29 September 2013, while I was acting as a moderator of this page, I posted a comment about Norwich City Manager Chris Hughton in which I used the term ‘monkey’.

"Although it was not my intention to use this term in a racist context, I now fully accept that the term is often used in that way and that therefore it was unacceptable and inappropriate to use it about Mr Hughton in my post.

“I would like to apologise to Mr Hughton and to everyone who was offended by the post. Although I deleted it as soon as I realised my gross error of judgement, I realise it was highly irresponsible for me, especially in my capacity as a moderator of the page, to post such language on a public-facing social media platform.

“I hope by posting this here that other users will be reminded that we all have a responsibility when using social media to use appropriate language - and to avoid at all times words or phrases which could be considered racist and therefore represent a potential hate crime.

“I have willingly agreed to meet with Kick It Out, football’s equality and inclusion campaign, to learn more about how we all need to work together to fight racism and all other forms of discrimination in football and in society in general.”


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