• STV
  • MySTV

Football seen as fuelling sectarianism, report finds

Orange Order marches were the second leading contributor to religious prejudice.

Study: Majority said sectarianism damaged Scotland (file pic).
Study: Majority said sectarianism damaged Scotland (file pic). SNS Group

Football is seen as the main contributor to sectarianism in Scotland, a survey has found.

More than three quarters (76%) of respondents to the study by YouthLink Scotland and ScotCen Social Research identified the sport as the largest factor behind religious prejudice.

This was followed by Orange Order marches (73%), Irish Republican marches (63%) and the internet and social media (63%).

The survey found a majority of people believe prejudice towards Catholics still exists in Scotland (68%) while 55% believed the same for Protestants.

However, more than a quarter (27%) thought there was little or no prejudice towards Catholics and 40% said held this belief for Protestants.

Around seven in ten of the 670 respondents came across sectarian language on social media and a majority (72%) believed these posts cause harm to Scotland's image or reputation.

A minority (13%) said it does no harm.

Almost half (48%) believe anti-Catholic online language is a big problem, with 36% saying it is a small problem and 16% saying it is not a problem at all.

For sectarian language online against Protestants, this changed to 40%, 44% and 17%.

https://stv.tv/news/politics/1409152-msps-expected-to-back-sectarianism-bill-repeal-bid/ | default

Respondents were then asked to examine four real online posts containing sectarian terms for Catholics and Protestants and most thought the language was "unacceptable" for online use, ranging from 50% to 65% per tweet.

Around a quarter (22-27%) believed the terms are acceptable, with younger people more likely to choose this option.

Between 62% and 72% said they believed the tweets were "just banter".

Respondents were asked if the tweets were against the law and the report found a "high level of uncertainty" among respondents on this and on the current sentencing for online sectarianism.

The Sectarianism on Social Media report concluded the findings suggest "a need for clearer guidance around the current legislation on online sectarianism to raise people's awareness of what would be the appropriate course of action should they come across it".

Lisa Gallacher, digital development and participation officer at YouthLink Scotland said: "The survey findings show that there is more work to be done on online sectarianism in Scotland.

"The majority of people think posting sectarian comments on social media causes harm to Scotland's image and most people disagree that sectarian language online is 'just banter."

The findings come a day before the Scottish Parliament is expected to pass Labour MSP James Kelly's bill to overturn a controversial law covering sectarianism at football and online abuse.

Download: The STV News app is Scotland's favourite and is available for iPhone from the App store and for Android from Google Play. Download it today and continue to enjoy STV News wherever you are.

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check. That e-mail's already in our system. Please try again.
ShowHide
Forgot password?
This field is required. At least 6 characters please. Did you enter your details correctly?
If you've forgotten your details then use the 'Forgot password?' link.
Need to reset your password?

We'll send a link to reset your password to

We've sent you details on how to reset your password

Please check your email and follow the instructions.

Forgotten your email address?

Have you forgotten the email address that you previously joined with? Don't worry, by emailing enquiries@stv.tv we can help.

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
At least 6 characters please
ShowHide
This field is required. At least 6 characters please.
You have to be 16 or over to join
This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date
Type your full postcode and select your address This field is required. It doesn't look like you've entered a valid postcode. Can't find your address? Confirm the details you've given us are correct by clicking here

By continuing you agree to our Terms of Use, including our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy. Any issues contact us.

Upload Profile Picture

Please make sure your image is under 2mb in size and a valid JPG, PNG or GIF.

Are you sure?

Unfortunately, you'll be unable to access our premium content. We’ll be sorry to see you go, but if you change your mind you can rejoin us at any time.

Please verify your STV account

Please verify your STV account using the email we sent you. If you have lost the email, we can send you another one, just click the button below.

Thanks

We've sent you a new verification email.
Please check your email and follow the instructions to verify your account.

Welcome to STV
Thanks for joining us.

Oops!

Sorry, you must be at least 12 years old to place a vote for your Real Hero.

Please review our Voting Terms of Use for more information.

Oops!

Sorry! It seems that you are using a browser that is incompatible with our voting service.

To register your vote please copy the below URL in to your regular mobile browser. We recommend Google Chrome, or Safari.

http://shows.stv.tv/real-heroes/voting

Oops!

Sorry, you seem to have already voted in this category.

Thanks for voting

Now share your vote with friends on your social network

Share on twitter Share on facebook

Cast your vote

Please register or sign in to continue.

Cast your vote

This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date

Cast your vote

Please fill out this form to cast your vote. As you are under 16 years old you will not create an STV account. Why do we need these details?

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check.
Location This field is required.
Parental Consent This field is required.

That's you. All that's left is to click the 'Submit Vote' button below. By doing so, you confirm that you and your parent or guardian have read and accept our Voting Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Cookie policy, and that the details you have entered are correct. We'll look after them as carefully as if they were our own.