Football’s governing bodies to unite for three-day social media boycott next weekend; FA, Premier League, EFL, Women’s Super League, FA Women’s Championship, PFA, LMA, PGMOL, Kick It Out and the FSA will not post during boycott; suspension to last from 3pm on Friday to 11.59pm on Monday.
Football’s governing bodies will stage a social media boycott next weekend “in response to the ongoing and sustained discriminatory abuse received online”.The FA, Premier League, EFL, FA Women’s Super League, FA Women’s Championship, PFA, LMA, PGMOL, Kick It Out and the FSA will unite for the boycott from 3pm on Friday April 30 until 11.59pm on Monday May 3.The action will see clubs from the Premier League, EFL, WSL and Women’s Championship switch off their Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts.
A joint statement on behalf of all of the organisations said: “As a collective, the game recognises the considerable reach and value of social media to our sport. 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.
“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.”Finally, while football takes a stand, we urge the UK Government to ensure its Online Safety Bill will bring in strong legislation to make social media companies more accountable for what happens on their platforms, as discussed at the DCMS Online Abuse roundtable earlier this week.”
Premier League chief executive Richard Masters said: “Racist behaviour of any form is unacceptable and the appalling abuse we are seeing players receive on social media platforms cannot be allowed to continue.”The Premier League and our clubs stand alongside football in staging this boycott to highlight the urgent need for social media companies to do more in eliminating racial hatred. We will not stop challenging social media companies and want to see significant improvements in their policies and processes to tackle online discriminatory abuse on their platforms.
“Football is a diverse sport, which brings together communities and cultures from all backgrounds and this diversity makes the competition stronger. No Room For Racism represents all the work we do to promote equality, diversity and inclusion and tackling discrimination.”Facebook, which owns Instagram, has declined to comment on this story and Twitter has been contacted by Sky Sports for a response.