Why football is boycotting social media this weekend and how long it will last

talkSPORT will be part of the social media boycott this weekend as global sport takes a stand against the ongoing and sustained abuse suffered by so many online.

Sport is coming together in a ‘show of solidarity’ against the disgusting abuse that has been directed at players and many others over the past years.

talkSPORT will be part of the Social Media Boycott this weekend
AFP

It is hoped that the widespread action will encourage companies to take a stronger stance against racist and sexist abuse on their platforms.

The aim is also to have government bring forward the Online Harms legislation and make it a matter of urgency as we look to help keep people safe online.

talkSPORT will not publish any content across our social media channels this weekend while leading organisations in football, cricket, rugby and several other corporate bodies are also taking part.

The boycott will run from 3pm on Friday until midnight on Monday.

Head of talkSPORT Lee Clayton said: “talkSPORT is proud to join the Social Media Boycott to speak up for those who have suffered real and lasting abuse on social media.

“talkSPORT’s social media is an important part of our multimedia offering with 5.6m followers across our social platforms. But now is the time to stand with the football community against hate.

“Racism is of course a big part of this boycott. But it also spans sexism, hateful and hostile content, discrimination and general abuse too. As a station we are taking steps to protect our own presenters from abuse from social media trolls and this is an important statement that online hate will not be tolerated.” 

Thierry Henry removed himself from all social media in March because of racism and bullying across platforms

Football saw great strength in quashing the hugely controversial European Super League recently and there is hope such vehement action can start to be taken against online abuse.

Arsenal legend Thierry Henry has declared ‘football is powerful’ and can affect real change in society starting with the social media boycott this week.

Henry told talkSPORT: “A lot of football players have came off social media. I was the first one that maybe could have an impact.

“I realised that if I came off social media, I’d had enough in fairness, it would create a little wave.

“A lot of people came off social media before and perhaps you have to realise you can have a voice for the people who have not had that voice.

“Now if you go back to what’s happening now, we are quick to see a problem in the game and you have to give credit where credit is due.

“What’s happening now, I thought it was going to happen a little bit before, but it’s finally happening.

“Football is powerful. The press is powerful and if we come together and the strength of the pack can achieve something.

“This is the start and hopefully it can carry on.”