Northants and cricket world stand 'shoulder-to-shoulder' with Cobblers and football in social media blackout

Northants have announced they will be joining the Cobblers in taking part in a social media boycott this weekend.

By Jeremy Casey
Wednesday, 28th April 2021, 12:53 pm
Updated Wednesday, 28th April 2021, 12:54 pm
Northants and the 17 other first-class counties are taking part in this weekend's social media blackout
Northants and the 17 other first-class counties are taking part in this weekend's social media blackout

The County, along with the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), the 17 other first-class counties, eight Women’s regional teams and the Professional Cricketers’ Association (PCA) have said they 'will stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the football community' by taking part in a social media boycott from 3pm on Friday (April 30) through to 11:59pm on Monday (May 3).

The Cobblers have already announced they are taking part in the weekend EFL blackout of social media, a move that is also being undertaken by the Football Association, the Premier League, the Professional Footballers Association, the League Managers Association, Kick It Out, Women in Football and others.

And a statement on the Northants website at read: "In taking part in this boycott, we want to show solidarity with football and amplify its message that nobody should have to suffer abuse, racism or harassment on social media because they play, or are involved in professional sport.

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"Supporters will be able to follow Northamptonshire’s LV= Insurance County Championship fixture against Yorkshire via the livestream and match centre which will be accessible via the club’s website on all four days."

ECB chief executive Tom Harrison said: “As a sport, we are united in our commitment to fight racism and we will not tolerate the kind of discriminatory abuse that has become so prevalent on social media platforms.

“We’re proud to add our voice to all those across sport who are sending the message that more can, and must, be done to eradicate online hate.

“Social media can play a very positive role in sport, widening its audience and connecting fans with their heroes in a way that was never possible before.

"However, players and supporters alike must be able to use these platforms safe in the knowledge they do not risk the prospect of facing appalling abuse.”

Professibal Cricketers Association chief executive Rob Lynch said: “The PCA is fully supportive of the social media boycott as cricket stands together with football and other sports in a show of solidarity against online abuse.

“Social media companies have to do more. Our members are often victims of horrific online abuse with little or no punishment for the perpetrators and this has to change.

“A unified silence from players and the wider game is a powerful stance to show that our members will not allow social media companies, which have brought so much benefit to the game, to continue to ignore and fail to prioritise the need for appropriate legislation in protecting people against online discriminatory behaviour.

“We continue to support our members while working collaboratively as a game to lobby the social media companies and the government through the Online Safety Bill for swift action in making social media a safer space for our members and wider society.”