BT unveils Hope United in response to tackling online hate

A new team has been announced ahead of the 2020 Euros. The formation of the team in response to online hate will be known as Hope United.

The new project, spearheaded by BT, has been described as “a diverse team of footballers from across the Home Nations with the goal of tackling online hate ahead of the UEFA European Championships”.

Demi Stokes, Lucy Bronze and Lauren James make up some of the prominent names from the women’s game. Karen Carney and Rio Ferdinand will be managing the team, which is aiming to reduce hate experienced online.

Speaking on the project, Ferdinand commented: “Passions run high during big football tournaments and having seen the devastating effect that can result from online hate first-hand, it is more important than ever that sport unites to combat it.”

Liverpool men’s captain Jordan Henderson said: “Some believe that social media abuse is an
inescapable part of life for footballers, and Hope United want to show that this does not have to
be the case.”

BT is hoping Hope United will become the nations’ second team during the Euros this summer.

The aim of Hope United

The aims of the team have been announced as unifying the nation to stand against online abuse and to raise awareness. They will also drive more support for change and provide education for web users on how to protect themselves and be good digital citizens. 

The team will feature in BT Tech Tips content. The online platform is a free resource. It aims to give people the digital skills they need to tackle hate online.

Online hate is becoming a much more prominent issue. YouGov recently conducted a poll which revealed that 1 in 10 people have experienced online abuse. Many high profile players have been sharing abusive messages and comments they have received in order to raise awareness.

BT revealed that the team had been drawn together as a result of their own experiences of online hate. Several of the players involved today announced their involvement on social media. Lucy Bronze was one of the first to express her excitement in the new project.

Team news

Hope United – Players

Jesse Lingard – England
Jordan Henderson – England
Marcus Rashford – England
Gareth Bale – Wales
Andy Robertson – Scotland
Lucy Bronze – England
Demi Stokes – England
Trent Alexander-Arnold – England
Rebecca Sellar – Scotland para-footballer
Liam Palmer – Scotland

Ethan Ampadu – Wales
Dan James – Wales
Helen Ward – Wales
Jamal Lewis – Northern Ireland
Charlie Fogarty – Northern Ireland para-footballer
Lauren James – England

Hope United – Staff

Managers – Rio Ferdinand & Karen Carney
Coaches – Robbie Savage & Eni Aluko

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