On Friday night, betting company Star Sports – which styles itself the ‘Gentleman’s Bookkeeper’ – shared a photo taken at a darts world championship:
The image showed an audience member with blacked-up face and hands and a wig, in mockery of Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott. Supposedly this was impressive ‘fancy dress’.
Ms Abbott has told of the hideous, racist abuse she endures every day.
Labour MP Stella Creasy took the company to task over its tweet:
The response she received was remarkably dismissive:
The responses to Star Sports’ tweets ranged from horror to ugly, neanderthal glee.
Just in case anyone has forgotten, or wishes to make light of, the horrific racist abuse that Ms Abbott receives daily, here is her testimony to a House of Commons debate on online abuse:
The SKWAWKBOX asked Star Sports press contact:
Starsport’s Twitter account tweeted last night an image of someone at Alexandra Palace wearing black make-up and posing as Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott. Given the documented, extreme racist abuse that Ms Abbott has received, this would appear extremely questionable at the very least – and has been seen as promoting racism by large numbers of people, including at least one Labour MP. The respondents welcoming the initial tweet also do not reflect well on your company’s client base.
Whoever is managing your Twitter account responded telling complainants not to be so serious:
Do you feel this is an appropriate response or does the company wish to distance itself from the tweets and apologise to Ms Abbott?
Star Sports has not so far responded.
Following hard on the heels of apologies from Paperchase and Pizza Hut Delivery for advertising in right-wing rags, it will be interesting to see whether Star Sports maintains its position in response to complaints and if so whether this will impact on its business as many feel it must and should.
The SKWAWKBOX needs your support. This blog is provided free of charge but depends on the generosity of its readers to be viable. If you can afford to, please click here to arrange a one-off or modest monthly donation via PayPal. Thanks for your solidarity so this blog can keep bringing you information the Establishment would prefer you not to know about.