Posted: Thu, 29 Apr 2021 17:00

English football organisations announce social media boycott

We will not be posting on our social media channels between 3pm Friday 30th April and 23:59pm on Monday 3rd May, in response to the ongoing and sustained discriminatory abuse received online by players and many others connected to football. Leicester-shire and Rutland Sport alongside other active partnerships and sporting organisations will be supporting the boycott in a bid to take a stand and #StopOnlineAbuse.

Kick It Out, The FA, Premier League, EFL, FA Women's Super League, FA Women's Championship, PFA, LMA, PGMOL and the FSA will unite for the social media boycott. The boycott has been scheduled to take place across a full fixture programme in the men's and women's professional game and will see clubs across the Premier League, EFL, WSL and Women's Championship switch off their Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts.

As a collective, the game recognises the considerable reach and value of social media to football. The connectivity and access to supporters who are at the heart of football remains vital.

However, the boycott shows English football coming together to emphasise that social media companies must do more to eradicate online hate, while highlighting the importance of educating people in the ongoing fight against discrimination.

Sanjay Bhandari, Kick It Out Chair, says: "Social media is now sadly a regular vessel for toxic abuse. Hate has become depressingly normalised. This boycott signifies our collective anger at the damage this causes to the people who play, watch and work in the game. Football is standing in unity with the people who receive and witness these vicious torrents of hate. 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 want social media companies to do more and to act faster. We need them to make their platforms a hostile environment for trolls rather than for the football family. We need the government to hold its nerve and keep its promises to regulate. The Online Safety Bill could be a game changer and we aim to help make that happen. There should be no space for hate and everyone can play their part. If you watch, work in or love the game, join in. We can all take a stand."

(Source: Kick it out)

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