Fight against online abuse: Amid rising calls from Premier League chiefs and players across the globe, former Premier League side Swansea City on Thursday announced a week-long social media boycott on all platforms in the battle against abuse and discrimination of all forms on social media.
“Swansea City have chosen to take a club-wide stance in the battle against abuse and discrimination of all forms on social media. From 5pm 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,” the club said in a statement. The club said 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,” the statement read.
Swansea City said they 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,” the club said.
Fight against online abuse: In addition, the club said 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.”
“This club-wide stance will cover our matches against Millwall this Saturday (April 10) and our trip to Sheffield Wednesday on Tuesday, April 13. We would like to inform supporters that club news will continue to be posted via our official website during this period, before a return to social media activity at 5pm on Thursday, 15 April,” the club said.
Swansea City captain Matt Grimes said: “As a close and diverse group of players, this is something we all feel extremely passionate about. Three of our squad have been racially abused in recent weeks and, as a squad and club, we wanted to take this stance as we again call on those at the forefront of social media companies to implement the change that is needed now and in the future. I find it staggering that we are still talking about racism and abuse of this kind.”