• Tuesday, Jul 27, 2021
  • Last Update : 03:52 pm

Prince William joins social media sports boycott to tackle abuse

  • Published at 11:07 pm April 30th, 2021
Prince William
File photo: Britain's Prince William wears a protective mask as he visits St. Bartholomew's Hospital in London on October 20, 2020 Reuters

Uefa is also observing the blackout, which will last from 1400 GMT Friday until 2259 GMT Monday

Britain's Prince William has joined a boycott of social media channels launched Friday by football clubs, players and sporting bodies aimed at tackling online abuse.

A number of football organizations including the English Football Association and Premier League revealed they would not post on their platforms this weekend and the campaign has snowballed.

European football's governing body Uefa is also observing the blackout, which will last from 1400 GMT Friday until 2259 GMT Monday.

In a statement released before the boycott began, the Premier League said social media companies must do more to stamp out online abuse.

A number of high-profile players including Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford and Chelsea full-back Reece James have been racially abused in recent months.

Prince William, who is president of the English Football Association, threw his weight behind the campaign.

In January William hit out at racist abuse in football, describing it as "despicable" and saying it must stop after several black players were targeted online.

UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin said action needed to be taken after a rise in online abuse and hate directed at footballers and those involved with the game

Posted by Sports Tribune on Thursday, 29 April 2021

A number of players posted statements shortly before the protest began Friday, while football clubs changed their Twitter logos to show their support for the campaign.

Earlier, Manchester United said their own analysis had shown that online abuse aimed at their players had increased by 350% since 2019.

The Premier League club also said they had banned six fans alleged to have abused Tottenham Hotspur's South Korean forward Son Heung-min on social media.

Chelsea said they had banned a supporter for posting anti-Semitic messages online.

A wide range of sporting organizations including England Rugby, British Cycling, the England and Wales Cricket Board and the International Tennis Federation are supporting the blackout.

Formula One is not taking part but world champion Lewis Hamilton said he was ready to join the boycott on the weekend of the Portuguese Grand Prix.

Wolverhampton Wanderers boss Nuno Espirito Santo believes it will need to be repeated in the push for change.

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