Social media trolling and racist abuse left TV presenter Alex Scott ‘scared for her life’

TV presenter and former England international footballer Alex Scott says she can “slip into dark places” in the face of torrents of racist abuse and trolling, which sometimes leaves her “scared for her life”.

The 37-year-old has become a regular on sports commentary panels and made history in 2018 as Sky’s first female pundit on a Sky Sports Super Sunday and joined the list of Cup commentators of the BBC World in the same year.

In an interview with The Times, Scott opened up about the online attacks she faces due to her role and how she ended up in a bad place after showing up for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

She said, “I can slip into dark places. And once I slip into dark places, I don’t stop.

“I loved being at the Olympics, but afterwards I realized the crazy pressure I had put on myself to take it all – trolling, racism, Lord Digby Jones.”

Last year, former Labor Secretary and former Member of the House of Lords Digby Jones criticized Scott’s pronunciation and asked if anyone could give him elocution lessons.

Scott said: “I went to the Olympics knowing all the trolls would be watching me again.

“But then, to open Twitter and see this from him, I was like, ‘I’m not going to be quiet anymore. I had enough.’ So I just tweeted and went to bed.

Earlier that summer, Scott was targeted on social media following false reports that she had been chosen to replace Sue Barker as the new presenter of A Question Of Sport, a role which went to Paddy McGuinness.

“It was at a level where I was afraid for my life,” admitted the presenter, saying that she had received death threats.

“I was afraid to leave my house to go to the store. This is the stage we had reached – that, oh my God, someone black could replace a national treasure could cause such hatred.

Scott briefly turned to drink in an effort to drown out the noise of the trolls, reports the Times.

The football pundit says she’s a proponent of therapy, which she sought out after the A Question Of Sport abuse.

“I learn from what happened to me. I wouldn’t be the person I am without all of this,” she said.

In November, Scott will travel to Doha to present the BBC’s World Cup coverage, as well as the UK’s Sports Personality of the Year.

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