English football will boycott social media between 30th April and 3rd May in protest against discriminatory abuse at players.
Premier League clubs, along with the English FA, have announced a boycott of all social media platforms from 30th April to 3rd May in the fight against online abuse targeted at players. Official club accounts, personal accounts of players and sports media organisations including Sky Sports will boycott social media to show a united front.
This comes almost a year after the Black Lives Matter movement sparked political debate across the world following the tragic death of George Floyd. Last summer, Premier League players actively joined the fight against racism with some commemorative celebrations. Jadon Sancho unveiled a message reading “Justice for George Floyd” under his Dortmund jersey after recording his first career hat trick after the restart. Leagues across Europe held a minute’s silence before every game, allowing players, coaching staff and officials to take a knee in solidarity.
Premier League jerseys had “Black Lives Matter” imprinted on the sleeves to show their support of the movement after the restart. When the 2020/21 season commenced, the sign was replaced with the Premier League’s own campaign “No Room For Racism”.
But these efforts have not stopped the hate or racist abuse given to players online. Players such as Reece James, Marcus Rashford and Axel Tuanzebe have all come forward to announce they have been receiving online abuse, as well as many others. In order to stamp this out, the footballing bodies of England have come together to show a united front against the abuse.
Each club and organisation have released a statement supporting the boycott.
The aim of the boycott is to draw attention to social media’s protection of online abusers. Clubs and players alike are looking for Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to implement stricter laws on the matter in order to stop the abuse raging on.
The FA have requested the British government to step in and force social media companies to punish online abusers. As we reach the one-year anniversary of the Black Lives Matter protests, it is evident there is still a lot of work to be done. But at least footballing bodies are making an effort to act today for a safer tomorrow.