Social Media Boycott: The Only Way for Football to Make a Stand

Social Media boycott

All forms of discrimination have continued to tarnish the beautiful game we all love so dearly. And that discrimination has always unfortunately been there; that is the sad reality. Society has not progressed as everything around it has. Instead, the advancements- entering the world- such as social media, is being used as a tool for never-ending discrimination. The social media boycott from Swansea City is the only way forward.

The Welsh side have taken a stand against the discrimination from the cowards hiding behind a false identity. They have taken a stand the social media companies are too afraid to take. And until the likes of Twitter and Instagram join them in that stand against discrimination, others will only follow in their footsteps. 

Already, Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson has since done similar by joining forces with Cybersmile to launch an Ant-Cyberbullying campaign. And that says something. A figure so reputable joining the fight adds accreditation to the movement Swansea are hoping to start. Enough is enough. It is time for social media companies to think about the human beings centred around the abuse rather than how deep their pockets can grow.

Social Media Boycott: The Only Way Forward

Swansea City Social Media Boycott Statement

The Welsh side released the following statement: “Swansea City has chosen to take a club-wide stance in the battle against abuse and discrimination of all forms on social media.

From 5 pm today (April 8) all first-team players, those in the academy professional phase (under-23s and under-18s), Swansea City Ladies, our Community Trust, senior club staff and official club channels (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, TikTok and Snapchat) will not post any content for a period of seven days.

“This decision has been taken as a result of conversations between senior club staff, players and management.

“As a football club, we have seen several of our players subjected to abhorrent abuse in the past seven weeks alone, and we feel it is right to take a stand against behaviour that is a blight on our sport, and society at large.

“We will always be unwavering in our support of our players, staff, supporters and the community that we proudly represent, and we are united as a club on this issue.

We also want to stand with players from other clubs who have had to endure vile discrimination on social media platforms.

“As a club we are also acutely aware of how social media can impact on the mental health of players and staff, and we hope our strong stance will highlight the wider effects of abuse.

“Additionally, chief executive Julian Winter has sent a letter to Twitter CEO, Jack Dorsey, and Facebook’s founder, chairman and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg to reiterate the club’s stance and desire to see social media companies introduce more stringent policing and punishments for those guilty of the appalling and cowardly abuse that has sadly become far too common.”

Others May Follow Suit

The social media boycott came after several incidents of racism aimed towards striker Jamal Lowe after a defeat to Birmingham City. The loss signalled the anonymous, shameless so-called fans to climb behind their screen for what was probably not the first time of the day, to hurl abhorrent and needless abuse.

The same disgraceful comments have been aimed at Naby Keita, Davinson Sanchez and Callum Robinson. The comments will only continue, too. The block button can only be pressed a number of times before it becomes a tiresome exercise. The report button works once you give it a couple of days. But the damage is already done. 

Cash is King

If a social media company can come up with the concept of stories, filters and other additions, surely they can find a way to identify and help eradicate the cowards behind the discrimination? Football has tried its best. They have taken the knee in support of Black Lives Matter, and rightfully so. Yet, still, many fail to escape the growing grasp of abuse. 

Now it is those in charge of Twitter, Instagram, or any form of social media to take action. Otherwise, as proven by Swansea City’s social media boycott, those aforementioned deepening pockets will gradually grow more and more shallow. The sad reality is that the only time those in charge will act is when the money begins to drop.

Sometimes, many forget that football players are human. They, too, like us, feel the abuse; it affects them. People disregard that fact. They turn a misplaced pass into an excuse for racism. 

And they know they’ll likely get away with it as each penny falls into the pockets of those running social media. Cash is king in this scenario. If enough people make a stand in the social media boycott, that cash may begin to run dry, and companies will be forced to act.

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