Football pundit Alex Scott has revealed how she had to fly off to Barbados to escape vile trolling after her World Cup coverage.
The former Arsenal defender, 38, was part of the BBC’s punditry team in Qatar throughout the tournament. She presented England’s first match against Iran back in November, where the Three Lions had been told by FIFA representatives that captain Harry Kane risked punishment for wearing a OneLove armband in solidarity with LGBTQ+ people.
Scott took it upon herself to wear the armband during her coverage for the BBC as an open critique of the host-nation, where same-sex relationships are illegal.
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Explaining her decision at the Attitude 101 Trailblazers event, Scott said: “I knew the importance of using my platform and being there rather than just staying at home.
“On the opening World Cup show, we spoke a lot about the politics surrounding the tournament and it was heavy. I came back not knowing if I was going to get through a month of it.”
She added: “[after armbands were banned] I remember being so sad. They were stopping people from wearing an armband. I was standing there next to the kitman and I thought ‘no-one told me I can’t wear one.'"
Scott received widespread praise for her bold gesture, but was also met with abhorrent abuse from trolls on social media. And the former international was left so overwhelmed and distraught that she had to immediately fly off to the Caribbean to unwind after the tournament’s conclusion.
“I didn’t think anything of it but after, the wave of abuse, the trolling, everything [I suffered],” she said while recalling the backlash. “After that, I disappeared to Barbados. I needed to get away because I couldn’t believe an action out of love could create so much hate and divide.
“Being in the UK now I appreciate and love so much when people come up to me and say what me wearing the armband meant to everyone.”
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