Sport united behind social media boycott

The world of sport is to unite this weekend in a boycott of social media aimed at increasing awareness in the fight against online abuse.

Boycott: Twitter, Instagram and Facebook Apps on an Iphone screen. Many sports are boycotting social media this weekend in a unified stand against racism and discrimination.

Football authorities kicked off the boycott plans last Saturday night in response to a rising tide of online hate aimed at players, managers and pundits.

And a number of sports have followed suit with the Lawn Tennis Association declaring unity on Monday, the England and Wales Cricket Board on Wednesday, and yesterday the Rugby Football Union the British Basketball League, British Cycling and the British Horseracing Authority offering their support.

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All those involved – including broadcasters and sponsors with links to sport – are proposing a near-total blackout on their Facebook, Instagram and Twitter channels from 3pm today until 11.59pm on Monday night.

Supporting boycott: Leeds United coach Marcelo Bielsa.

Clubs across the Premier League, EFL, Women’s Super League and Women’s Championship will switch off their accounts.

Governing bodies’ central accounts – such as those belonging to the Premier League, the Football Association, the WSL, the EFL, the Professional Footballers’ Association, the League Managers Association and the Football Supporters’ Association are also involved, as are anti-discrimination bodies Kick It Out and Show Racism The Red Card.

Leeds United manager Marcelo Bielsa backed the boycott yesterday, saying: “The possibility to cause harm anonymously and to cause harm or damage to someone unjustly, the possibility to do this without consequences, they are realities which should be combatted. What I feel is very important is that we try.”

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