Premier League players to boycott social media over abuse

#Enough 24-hour campaign will start on Friday morning

Manchester United’s Chris Smalling: “The time has come for Twitter, Instagram and Facebook to consider regulating their channels.”

Manchester United’s Chris Smalling: “The time has come for Twitter, Instagram and Facebook to consider regulating their channels.”

 

Leading Premier League stars have backed a 24-hour social media boycott in protest at an escalation of incidents of racial abuse online.

The campaign launched by the Professional Footballers’ Association will urge players to stay off social media from 9am on Friday morning after posting the hashtag #Enough.

The PFA say it is intended as a show of solidarity with players who have been targeted, as well as a demand to social media organisations and the game’s authorities that more needs to be done.

Simone Pound, Head of Equalities at the PFA, said: “Football has the power to do so much good in the world. We must always try to use the sport’s popularity and influence to make positive change.

“Over the last few months we have seen a rise in appalling instances of racist abuse at grounds around the world, and on social media. We cannot stand by while too little is done to address this unacceptable behaviour.

“The PFA has always been at the forefront of tackling racism and we are reaffirming our commitment to all of our members. We will do all we can to put an end to the abuse players face on the pitch and online.”

Manchester United defender Chris Smalling has given his strong backing to the campaign after he was abused on Twitter after his side’s Champions League defeat in Barcelona this week.

Smalling joins a lengthening list of players, also including Mohamed Salah, Danny Welbeck, Raheem Sterling, Michy Batshuayi, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Moussa Sissoko, who have received abuse over the same platform in recent years.

Smalling said: “Throughout my career I have developed a thick skin against verbal abuse, justifying it as just ‘part of the game’ but the time has come for Twitter, Instagram and Facebook to consider regulating their channels, taking responsibility for protecting the mental health of users regardless of age, race, sex or income.

“I understand that I am in an extremely privileged position and I am deeply thankful for that but, at the end of the day, we are all human.

“As a patron of a youth education charity it is my duty to use my platform as a voice for all, regardless of background. We have to take a greater stand against discrimination of all kinds.”

Concern is mounting over racism in football after a spate of attacks on players both on social media and in and around stadiums.

England’s black players were subjected to repeated chants during their Euro 2020 qualifier in Montenegro last month, while Tottenham defender Danny Rose revealed recently he has “had enough” and “can’t wait” to quit the game.

Rose said: “When I said that I can’t wait to see the back of football, it is because of the racism that I, and many other players, have been subjected to our entire careers.

“Football has a problem with racism.

“I don’t want any future players to go through what I’ve been through in my career.

“Collectively, we are simply not willing to stand by while too little is done by football authorities and social media companies to protect players from this disgusting abuse.”

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.