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Social media boycott to stand against online racism in football

Social media boycott to stand against online racism in football

Categories: Safeguarding and equality Sport Industry News

Thursday 29 March 2021

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 a social media boycott from 15.00 on Friday 30 April to 23.59 on Monday 3 May, in response to the ongoing and sustained discriminatory abuse received online by players and many others connected to football.

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.

We at Active Sussex, along with the other Active Partnerships and Sport England will be actively supporting this social media boycott, in solidarity with the sector. As an organisation we stand firmly against racism and discrimination of all kinds, and are focused in our work to tackle inequalities in the sport sector.

In a letter of February 2021, English football outlined its requests of social media companies, urging filtering, blocking and swift takedowns of offensive posts, an improved verification process and re-registration prevention, plus active assistance for law enforcement agencies to identify and prosecute originators of illegal content. While some progress has been made, these requests are being reiterate now 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.

Active Sussex CEO, Sadie Mason MBE said:

"Sport needs to be strong and committed as a sector by sending a clear message to those responsible for social media platforms that racism is wrong - always has been and always will be. Active Sussex stands against racism and discrimination in all its forms, and hope that this action will help social media owners to understand that racism is not acceptable and they will not allow their platforms to be a conduit for its perpetuation and dissemination." 

Enough is enough. Social media companies must do more and act faster to protect and support victims of online abuse.