The Women’s Superleague has signed a broadcast deal with the BBC and Sky earlier this year – the largest commercial agreement in women’s football to date.
Anita Asante, who plays for Aston Villa, says the deal is a ‘huge opportunity to grow the sport’.
But she fears the increased exposure and boost to the profile of players may result in more online abuse, particularly towards non-white players.
Asante, who has experienced racist abuse from hostile crowds and on social media, says she worries whether players who haven’t been exposed to it before can ‘manage’ the potential abuse.
A report by the Professional Footballers Association has found that there has been a 48% increase in un-moderated racist online abuse in the second half of the 2020/21 football season.
Warning: Contains language that may offend
You can hear the File on 4 programme ‘Tackling online abuse in football’ here