Jamal Lowe has opened up on the racist abuse he received as a Swansea City player, which led to a football-wide boycott of social media platforms not long after.
Lowe is one of the most exciting players currently plying his trade outside of the Premier League. Devilishly skilful and creative, it will not be long until he reaches the top flight – which would cap off an extraordinary rise.
Released by Barnet in 2015 he bounced around non-league before finding a home at Hampton & Richmond Borough, where his performances were enough to convince League One Portsmouth to sign him in January 2017.
During his time at the Liberty Stadium, Lowe was among several Swans players subjected to vile abuse on social media.
“The worst thing is it happened to four players, all different games, in the space of two months. There’s no way to stop it unless we’re verifying accounts,” Lowe told the On the Judy podcast.
“I came off Twitter man, it’s too much. I’m just getting bare messages, good and bad. I don’t really need to see both.
“One week I’m seeing: ‘you’re the worst player I’ve ever seen in a Swansea shirt’. The next week: ‘oh my god, you’re my favourite player, can I have your shirt’. I don’t need these messages in my life.”
After he and his teammates reported the messages, Swansea organised a social media blackout – something that was quickly imitated across the game.
However, Lowe raised doubts over whether the boycott did much to combat the issue of online racist abuse.
“The FA could have acted a lot quicker. When we first did it, they said two week later: ‘oh, we’ve got a great idea, we’ll do it as well’. But really and truly, it doesn’t do much, besides from raise awareness,” he said.
“Scrolling through my Insta, we had two blackouts this year, we had one blackout last year – nothing’s changing. Until the powers that be change it, we can blackout all we want.”
When asked whether he was affected by the abuse, Lowe said: “Not really. You can kind of sense if it’s coming if you’re coming up against a certain team or you’ve had a bad game. It’s not a surprise anymore.
“There’s so many worse things in the world and we’re getting abuse over a football match at the end of the day.
“It means the same amount to everyone else on the pitch. Because someone’s made a mistake on the pitch, or they’ve missed a chance or they’ve slipped and let a goal in, all of a sudden he’s a monkey or whatever name you want to call him?
“If I want to post something about coronavirus, I get a little thing that comes up saying: ‘this is false information, if you want real information go to the NHS website’. Or if I want to post something with a song on it, they say you can’t post it because I don’t own the rights.
“So they can obviously censor content and they’re choosing not to.”
Subscribe to the On the Judy podcast, part of the 90min podcast network, on your usual podcast platform, and check out new episodes when they drop on YouTube.