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Football clubs, players and governing bodies across England and Scotland are joining in a four-day social media blackout this weekend, starting at 3pm on Friday.
The unprecedented boycott is in response to "the ongoing and sustained discriminatory abuse" aimed at footballers and people within the game. It's also designed as a protest to social media companies over their perceived lack of action in the face of racist abuse on their platforms.
The Premier League, the FA, the Football League, the Women's Super League, as well as broadcasters Sky Sports and BT Sport, have all announced that they are taking part.
Twitter, Facebook and Instagram platforms will fall silent for a host of clubs - including Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester United, Celtic, Rangers and many more - until 11.59pm on Monday, 3 May.
In response to the sustained discriminatory abuse received online by players and others connected to the game, English football will unite for a social media boycott from 15:00 BST on Fri 30 April to 23:59 BST on Mon 3 May
Full story :arrow_right: https://t.co/YINlwNb7d0#NoRoomForRacism pic.twitter.com/vp6aVovqIS
- Premier League (@premierleague) April 24, 2021
UEFA will join a coalition of English footballing stakeholders by staying silent across its social media platforms this weekend.
The aim of the boycott is to show solidarity in the fight against online abuse. It will run from 16:00 CEST on Friday to 23:59 CEST on Monday.
- UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) April 29, 2021
It follows a series of high-profile racist attacks on players across professional football. Paul Pogba, Sadio Mane, Reece James, Marcus Rashford, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Raheem Sterling, Tyrone Mings and Wilfried Zaha are just some of the names on a depressingly long list of players who have suffered hateful online abuse.
The social shutdown is designed as a show of solidarity, but also a message to social media platforms that they are not doing enough to combat the abuse.
THREAD: From 3pm this Friday to 11.59pm on Monday we will be uniting with organisations and clubs across the football community in a social media boycott. pic.twitter.com/9Wz55la06L
- Kick It Out (@kickitout) April 27, 2021
LADbible Group is showing support for the battle against racism and abuse by donating to Kick It Out, a charity which works across all levels of the game by tackling discrimination on behalf of everyone who plays, watches or works in football. You can get involved by donating to Kick It Out here.
"This boycott signifies our collective anger," explained Sanjay Bhandari, chairman of Kick it Out.
"Social media is now sadly a regular vessel for toxic abuse. By removing ourselves from the platforms, we are making a symbolic gesture to those with power. We need you to act. We need you to create change.
"We need social media companies to make their platforms a hostile environment for trolls rather than for the football family."
Scottish football has united to support a boycott of social media in response to continuing racist and discriminatory abuse online aimed at players, staff, supporters and others associated with the game.#FootballUnites
Full details :point_down:
- SPFL (@spfl) April 28, 2021
The boycott has received support from numerous current and former players. Arsenal legend Thierry Henry announced in March that he was leaving social media "until the people in power are able to regulate their platforms with the same vigour and ferocity that they currently do when you infringe copyright."
Henry has since expressed his support for the boycott, telling the BBC: "I hope it is going to have an impact on those companies and they are going to come out with some real ideas.
"They [social media companies] are doing so little about it - to try to tackle racism, harassment and bullying."
Football clubs and players in England will boycott social media this weekend in a stand against racism.
Arsenal great, Thierry Henry told #BBCBreakfast fans should follow him in doing so.https://t.co/8pyYxCIEb6 pic.twitter.com/jtk2KYdUfO
- BBC Breakfast (@BBCBreakfast) April 26, 2021
A joint statement, released by football organisations, referenced demands made in February for social media companies to block or quickly remove offensive posts, improve account verification and offer greater assistance for police to identify abusers.
It read: "While some progress has been made, we reiterate those requests today in an effort to stem the relentless flow of discriminatory messages and ensure that there are real-life consequences for purveyors of online abuse across all platforms.
"Boycott action from football in isolation will, of course, not eradicate the scourge of online discriminatory abuse, but it will demonstrate that the game is willing to take voluntary and proactive steps in this continued fight."
Cricket stands shoulder-to-shoulder with the football community in taking part in a social media boycott this weekend.
No one should have to suffer abuse, racism or harassment on social media because they play, or are involved in professional sport.
- England and Wales Cricket Board (@ECB_cricket) April 28, 2021
England Rugby will join the football community and other sports taking part in a social media blackout from 15:00 BST on Friday 30 April to 23:59 BST on Monday 3 May in a show of solidarity against online abuse.
Find out more :arrow_heading_down:
- England Rugby (@EnglandRugby) April 29, 2021
Featured image credit: PA Images
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