ALEX SCOTT has revealed the agony she went through after being racially abused and trolled online.
The former Arsenal and England star, 37, has had an incredibly successful career as a broadcaster, hosting events such as Euro 2020 and the Tokyo Olympics.
Scott has also taken over the role of presenter of Football Focus from Dan Walker.
But her success has coincided with disgusting racial abuse as trolls singled her out on social media.
And Scott admits it had a big impact, leading to her “briefly turning to drinking” after last year’s Olympics.
Speaking to the Times, 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 insane pressure I had put on myself to take it all – the trolling, the racism, Lord Digby Jones.”
The reference to Jones comes from a tweet in which he accused her of using her East End accent to negatively influence the BBC’s Olympics coverage.
He said: “Enough! I can’t take it anymore! Alex Scott spoils a good presenting job on the BBC Olympics team with her very conspicuous inability to pronounce her ‘g’s at the end of a word.
“Competitors are NOT competing, Alex, in fencin, rowing, boxing, kayaking, weightlifting and swimming.”
The criticism understandably impacted Scott, who was forced to deal with death threats that came her way.
She continued, “That was at a level where I was scared for my life. I was afraid to leave my house to even go to the store.
“That’s the stage we’ve arrived at — that, oh my god, someone black could replace a national treasure could inspire such hatred.”
Scott is preparing for the publication of her memoir, How (Not) to Be Strong, in which she discusses the harrowing abuse she suffered at the hands of her father as a child.
Scott’s father often hit her mother, scenes that the ex-footballer recounts in frightening detail.
“I felt helpless,” she said. “I could only lie there and pray that my mother would still be alive in the morning.”
But Scott, who hasn’t spoken to her dad since he texted her asking about Strictly Come Dancing tickets in 2019, admirably insists she didn’t write the book to punish him.
She said: “I didn’t write this book to shame my father – actually I forgave my father.
“I’m learning lessons from what happened to me. Without all of this I wouldn’t be the person I am.
“In football you don’t show emotion. You’re tough, you take things on. You don’t talk about things. You roll up your socks and do your best.”
https://www.the-sun.com/sport/6293654/alex-scott-england-bbc-presenter-racism-trolling/ Alex Scott reveals she “briefly turned to drinking” as the ex-England star and BBC presenter “drowned out” racism and trolling