English football players, sporting bodies begin 4-day social media boycott over abuse

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Soccer Football - Champions League - Group H - Manchester United v Istanbul Basaksehir - Old Trafford, Manchester, Britain - November 24, 2020 Manchester United's Marcus Rashford takes a knee in support of the Black Lives Matter campaign before the match REUTERS/Toby Melville

Football clubs, players, athletes and a number of sporting bodies have begun a four-day boycott of social media in an attempt to tackle abuse and discrimination on their platforms.

The boycott initially planned by Premier League clubs was joined by the English Football Association, Women’s Super League, Women’s Championship as well as player, manager and referee bodies, anti-discrimination group Kick It Out and the Women In Football group.

The boycott which began at 3:00 pm on Friday will end on Monday at 12:59 pm.

FIFA, UEFA and the Premier League’s British broadcasters also said they will not post online across the four days.

Such is the anger across the game that if Manchester City clinches the Premier League trophy on Sunday it will not celebrate the title on social media.

This “show of solidarity against online abuse” by EPL clubs hopes to encourage companies to take a stronger stance against racist and sexist abuse by users, with the clubs saying it would not stop challenging companies “until discriminatory online abuse is removed from our game and wider society”.

“We know that a boycott alone will not eradicate this, which is why we will continue to take proactive steps to call for change,” the statement continued.

“What we are saying is that there are not enough safety parameters, not enough monitoring, not enough enforcement on social media platforms at the moment,”

“And that is why there is this horrible culture of abuse that is taking place day in, day out without any consequences for many individuals all over the world.”

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