In the run-up to Euro 2020, as lockdown hit and with fans kept out of stadiums, reported online abuse against footballers soared by 48%; and this was from just half a season's worth of games.
For almost a year ex-England footballer and football pundit Jermaine Jenas has been monitoring this rise in online abuse against Black footballers and investigating if social media companies have kept to the promises they made to do more to tackle the problem in the wake of the abuse faced by Marcus Rashford, Bukayo Saka and Jadon Sancho after the Euros final.
Driven by his personal experience of getting abusive messages every day, and an urgency to highlight the need for real change and consequences for abusers, Jermaine reaches out to those on the frontline who are dealing with this very 21st-century phenomenon.
Jermaine interviews the game's powerbrokers, the Premier League and PFA; plus key players, including Anita Asante and Kyle Walker, who have experienced the problem first-hand; as well as other pros including Jordan Henderson.
Jermaine also embeds with the UK's only dedicated football policing unit, following detectives as they attempt to track down the perpetrators. And in a potentially explosive encounter, he attempts to confront a troll face to face, in a bid to understand what motivates them.
Hunting The Football Trolls airs Thursday 7th October at 10pm on Channel 4.