Cobblers would support seven-day social media boycott to tackle online abuse

EFL clubs consider taking action after recent incidents

Thursday, 15th April 2021, 1:13 pm
Cobblers have regularly taken the knee before games this season.

Premier League and EFL clubs could come together next week in a seven-day social media boycott, according to Peterborough's Darragh MacAnthony

The Posh chairman revealed on his Hard Truth podcast that there has been talk between all 92 clubs about taking action to put pressure on social media companies.

Footballers and other sports people are becoming increasingly vocal about the amount of abuse they receive online from anonymous accounts.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Championship clubs Swansea City and Birmingham City, plus players from Scottish Premier League champions Rangers – who saw Glen Kamara and Kemar Roofe abused online after the Sparta Prague game – took the decision last week to stay off Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for seven days.

And a seven-day countrywide blackout could be imposed by all clubs next week.

It is understood that the Cobblers would be willing to stand alongside fellow clubs and support any collective action across the EFL in a bid to raise awareness of the issues and to try and put pressure on social media websites to do more to tackle online abuse.

Thierry Henry has been one of the high profile figures to speak out about the online abuse. The Arsenal legend came off social media and says he won’t return until there is some form of action taken by the companies.

There have been widespread calls from the football industry to take collective action to force the hands of social media companies, and there are believed to have been discussions behind the scenes about next steps.

An FA spokesman said: “We fully support any club or player that wishes to take a stand against any form of discrimination in a respectful manner, including the boycott of social media platforms.

“We are in regular dialogue with other English football authorities and, if it is felt collectively that a boycott of social media platforms would achieve the desired effect in leading to tangible change, it is something we would consider.”

MacAnthony, speaking on the latest edition of his ‘Hard Truth’ podcast, said: “I feel for the players. For them to suffer such horrific abuse in this day and age is simply unbelievable.

“There is talk of a social media blackout and we will sign up for it. It’s probably going to happen next week, but sadly the likes of Jack Dorsey (Twitter CEO) and Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook) won’t give two hoots.

“They should be doing more to stop the root cause of the abuse."