Football News

PFA’s online anti-racism protest calls on social media & footballing bodies to “do more”

By CJ Smith

Published: 18:00, 19 April 2019

Footballers are staging a 24-hour social media boycott in an attempt to tackle racism.

The ‘#Enough’ campaign has been organised and coordinated by the Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA) and has been backed by the likes of Marcus Rashford, Daniel Sturridge and Danny Rose.

The campaign is encouraging players to avoid using social media platforms such as Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, from 9am on Friday until 9am on Saturday in the hope that their silence sends a message to those who oversee social media moderation and football’s governing bodies.

Manchester United were forced to condemn “racist social media comments” aimed at Ashley Young on Twitter following their Champions League defeat to Barcelona.

Last week, Chelsea barred entry to three individuals identified as having taken part in an Islamophobic chant aimed at Mohamed Salah after the footage was circulated widely on social media.

An alarming number of players in English, European and international football have been subject to racist abuse during matches in recent weeks, such as Raheem Sterling, Moise Kean and Danny Rose.

The latter has even said he cannot wait to quit football over the issue and called for tougher punishments.

The PFA’s full statement on the campaign read: “On Friday 19th April, professional footballers in England and Wales will boycott social media to take a stand against racism.

“#Enough is a campaign organised by the Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA), which will encourage players not to use any form of social media from 09.00am 19th April to 09.00am on the 20th April.

“Over the last few months, both domestically and internationally, there have been a number of high-profile racist incidents directed at players. The boycott acts as a show of unity by the players, and a call for stronger action to be taken by social networks and footballing authorities in response to racist abuse both on and off the pitch.

“Players recognise that these racist incidents are a reflection of societal issues. They know first-hand how damaging racism can be and are using their platforms to inspire change that will benefit players, football and society as a whole.

“The boycott is the first step in a longer campaign to tackle racism in football. The PFA will continue to work closely with The FA and government to ensure more is done to tackle racist abuse, while also seeking to put pressure on both FIFA and UEFA through FIFPro.

“The campaign seeks to shine a light on the need for social media platforms to take responsibility to address racism received by professional footballers and other users online.

“The PFA is encouraging all its members to post a #Enough graphic on their social media platforms before the 24-hour boycott.”

Premier League stars back #Enough campaign

A host of high-profile Premier League players from a number of ethnic backgrounds are taking part in the PFA’s campaign by sharing it on their social media channels, before undertaking their 24-hour boycott.

Meanwhile, Leicester City captain, Wes Morgan said: “While there has been progress in the battle against racism within football, there are still far too many instances of players being abused. I’ve heard it in the stands and I’ve seen it online. We all have. That’s why, as players, we are coming together on Friday to say that more must now be done to eradicate racism from our game.”