Social media boycott: What is it? Who is involved? Why is it happening?

Women's Super League

Clubs across England will fall silent on Friday in a social media boycott scheduled in response to ongoing online abuse towards players, pundits and many others within football.

The Women’s Super League and Women’s Championship will join hands with their male counterparts and withdraw from their respective social media accounts in what will be a firm statement against discrimination.

What is the social media boycott?

After a number of professionals highlighted the abhorrent abuse they had received via social media over the last few weeks, English footballing bodies decided enough is enough. 

The boycott will be a four-day period of online silence from all clubs involved in order to take a stand against racism and other forms of discrimination. 

Who is taking part in the boycott?

The nation will unite as they close off their social media accounts on Friday. All men’s teams in the Premier League and EFL will take part in the boycott, along with the WSL and Women’s Championship. The FA as a whole will also take part, as well as PFA, LMA, PGMOL, Kick It Out, Women in Football and the FSA.

All teams and associations under these umbrellas will take themselves away from social media simultaneously.

When will it be?

The boycott will start on Friday April 30th at 3pm. A four-day period has been planned for the social media silence, with clubs and official accounts returning to their online status at 11.59pm on Monday 3rd May.

Why is the boycott happening?

Racism, homophobia and other forms of discrimination are still a glaring problem that is rife within football. Legends of the game like Ian Wright have personally experienced targeted online abuse. Thierry Henry recently deactivated his Twitter and Instagram accounts in his own personal stance against the level of racism still present in the game. 

The former Arsenal star stated he would only return to social media once something substantial had been done about the ongoing cyber bullying.

In the women’s game, ex-Lioness turned Sky Sports pundit Lianne Sanderson and Liverpool forward Rinsola Babajide also showed the abuse they had received on social media in recent weeks. 

To show the world that discrimination has no place in football, clubs and organisations across England will make their voices heard by falling silent.

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