Paris, April 30, 2021 (AFP) – Social media blackout. English sports are leading a global boycott, followed by top stars, clubs and federations, over the weekend to protest online insults, especially racist insults.
Manchester United, seven-time Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton, as well as the International Tennis Federation (ITF) and even UEFA: after a warning in recent weeks, the sporting movement will go into effect on Friday.
Injuries sustained by players on social media have doubled 4.5 since September 2019, Manchester United said Friday, whose players Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford have been subjected to these racist insults.
The Red Devils won’t be feeding their Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts this weekend as a protest.
United recently punished six fans, including three partners, for insulting Tottenham Hotspur striker Son Heung-min on social media.
The club will not be the only one to split up. The Premier League said Friday, “Starting at 3 pm (11 am Brasilia time), we will stop feeding our social networks and remain silent until Tuesday 4 May.”
“We have taken this position, together with the football community, in fighting online injuries and discrimination on social networks,” the organization said.
“The online insults must stop. Social media should speak out. # NoRoomForRacism (There is no place for racism) #StopOnlineAbuse (Stop the online abuse),” the Premier League wrote on Twitter
Prince William, second in ranking of Queen Elizabeth II and honorary president of the English Football Association (FA), has joined the “entire football community” in boycotting social media and will not be using social media this weekend.
The World Movement – Other British organizations have joined the movement, such as the Rugby and Cycling Federation, as well as the English and Welsh cricket federations.
In France, the French Rugby Federation (FFR) announced its membership on Friday “in response to the call to boycott social networks with the aim of raising awareness and condemning the scourge of racism, harassment and discrimination on the Internet,” as well as the club’s soccer player.
Many Formula 1 drivers will follow the county, led by Hamilton, the only black driver in the history of the class who is highly committed to combating racism.
“As a show of solidarity with the football world, my social networks will turn black this weekend. Discrimination, whether online or not, has no place in society. For a long time, it was easy for some to spread hate messages behind the screens. The F1 star wrote on his social media networks.
Hamilton’s citizens in the ring, Lando Norris and George Russell, announced the same decision on Friday, as did Finn Valtteri Bottas, Dutchman Max Verstappen, Monaco Charles Leclerc and French Esteban Ocon.
Pressures on Facebook and Twitter – F1 on Thursday expressed support for the movement but stressed that it will not participate. Other international entities involved in the work.
Among them is the International Tennis Federation (ITF), which referred to the responsibility of the platforms.
“It is time for leading social media companies to take a stand and support sports efforts to stop the insults, everywhere on social media,” the ITF said in a statement, which was later followed by the Roland Garros Grand Slam and Wimbledon tournaments.
On Thursday, UEFA also spoke through its Slovenian president, Alexander Ceferin, who lamented the “culture of hate that can grow with impunity”.
On February 11th, in an open letter to Twitter boss Jack Dorsey and Facebook owner Mark Zuckerberg, UK football officials asked them to act “out of simple human decency”.
Twitter responded that it had no intention of censoring comments from anonymous accounts.
Calls for players to temporarily withdraw from “social media” have multiplied in recent weeks. Arsenal legend Thierry Henry announced in late March that he would leave the networks until the platforms did more to combat racism and harassment.
FS / FBR / LRB / PM / AAM
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