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Police involved : Mike Dean takes weekend off after receiving multiple death threats

Paul MacInnes @PaulMac

Mike Dean red cards Soucek on Monday. The red card was rescinded on appeal.
 Mike Dean red cardsWest Ham’s Tomas Soucek at Fulham on Saturday. The red card was overturned on appeal. Photograph: Clive Rose/Reuters

Police involved : Mike Dean takes weekend off after receiving multiple death threats. The channels the perpetrators used were the family’s private social media accounts. The police was then involved by Dean after witnessing the social media abuse. His family is that latest one to fall victim to an ongoing wave of online abuse against football figures. Mike Dean will take the weekend off after the entire debacle .

Police involved for Mike Dean

Dean has reported the death threats to the police. He will no longer participate in the next round of Premier League matches. Next week he is expected to return though. It seems like the social media abuse is fueled by Dean’s decision to send off Tomas Soucek in the closing seconds of their Fulham draw.

Premier league: Premier League | Football | The Guardian

Moreover, social media companies have came into government attention recently since these are not the only reported incidents. For instance, Lauren James and Axel Tuanzebe from Manchester Utd. have received racist messages in the past few days. On a different event, Bristol Rover defender Mark Little has also logged similar complaints.

Others receive death threats as well

As culture secretary, Oliver Dowden responded to the racist abuse for the Manchester players. He leveraged the Online Harms Act challenging the freedoms of the social media platforms if they do not take action. “We are going to change the law to make scoail media companies more accountable for what happens on their platforms, and they can start showing their duty of care to players today by weeding out racist abuse now. Players must not be abused for doing their jobs – enough is enough”, he stated

Regulatory changes

The culture secretary, Oliver Dowden,responding to the racist abuse of James and Tuanzebe,raised the prospect of the Online Harms Act curtailing the freedoms of platforms if they did not act. “We are going to change the law to make social media companies more accountable for what happens on their platforms, and they can start showing their duty of care to players today by weeding out racist abuse now. Players must not be abused for doing their jobs – enough is enough,” he said.

Chief executive of Premier League, Richard Masters, solicited “proactive intervention” after Dean’s incident. “It is inexcusable that Mike Dean and his family have received online abuse, including death threats, as a result of doing his job officiating at a Premier League match,” Masters said. “Mike and his family have our full support in reporting this to the police. This once again highlights the need for greater proactive intervention from social media companies to stop online abuse and identify offenders.”

Meanwhile, West Ham managed to appeal against Soucek’s red card on Monday. This means the player will not be suspended for the upcoming 3 months.

Avon and Somerset police are attempting to establish the personal details of the offender of Bristol Rovers. The events went on Instagram after which the perpetrator deleted the account. Requests such as these have grown recently and the theme repeats itself: platforms aren’t doing enough to stop the abuse.

“As part of this investigation, we’ll be contacting the social media company to try and obtain the details of the account holder and the incident will be referred to the UK Football Policing Unit and Kick It Out,” Inspector Rob Millican said.

The head of referees, Mike Riley, adds: “Threats and abuse of this nature are totally unacceptable and we fully support Mike’s decision to report these messages his family received to the police. Nobody should be victim of abhorrent messages like this.

“Online abuse is unacceptable in any walk of life and more needs to be done to tackle the problem.”


Referee Mike Dean reports death threats to police and takes weekend off | Football | The Guardian

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