Social media trolling and racist abuse left TV presenter Alex Scott ‘scared for her life’
Television presenter and former England international footballer Alex Scott says she can “slip into dark places” when facing torrents of racist abuse and trolling, which sometimes leaves her “scared for her life”.
The 37-year-old has become a regular fixture on sports commentary panels and made history in 2018 as the first female Sky pundit on a Sky Sports Super Sunday and she joined the BBC World Cup commentary line-up 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 found herself in a bad place after presenting at 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 out at the Olympics, but afterwards I realised the mad pressure that I’d put on myself to take everything – the trolling, the racism, Lord Digby Jones.”
Last year, former Labour minister and ex-House of Lords member Digby Jones criticised Scott’s pronunciation and asked if someone could give her elocution lessons.
Scott said: “I went into the Olympics knowing the scrutiny that I would be under once again from all the trolls.
“But then to open Twitter and see that from him, I was just like, ‘I’m not going to be silent any more. I’ve had enough.’ So I just tweeted and went to bed.”
Earlier that summer, Scott was targeted on social media over false reports she had been chosen to replace Sue Barker as the new presenter of A Question Of Sport, a role which went to Paddy McGuinness.
“That was at a level that I was scared for my life”, the presenter admitted, saying she received death threats.
“I was scared to leave my house to even go to the shop. That’s the stage that we’d got to – that, oh my gosh, someone black might be replacing a national treasure could cause such hatred.”
Scott briefly turned to drinking in a bid to drown out the trolls’ noise, The Times reports.
The football pundit says she is a proponent of therapy, which she sought after the abuse over A Question Of Sport.
“I take lessons from what’s happened to me. I wouldn’t be the person I am without all this”, she said.
In November, Scott will be heading to Doha to present the BBC’s World Cup coverage, as well as presenting Sports Personality Of The Year in the UK.