LONDON (AP) — Three British soccer clubs announced week-long boycotts of social media on Thursday over the racist abuse sent on the platforms.
Swansea, which plays in England’s second-tier League Championship, was the first of the clubs to say it won’t post on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, TikTok and Snapchat. The Welsh club was followed by Birmingham and Scottish champion Rangers.
“We are concerned with the daily racist abuse our players have to endure, and believe that although social media can be a very positive and healthy platform for communication, there is undoubted concern the levels of hate are now spiraling out of control,” Rangers said in a statement, calling for more robust verification processes.
Swansea has written to Twitter chief executive Jack Dorsey and Facebook counterpart Mark Zuckerberg to ask for more stringent policing and punishments for those posting racist messages.
“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,” Swansea captain Matt Grimes said.
“I find it staggering that we are still talking about racism and abuse of this kind. We are acutely aware of the pressures within football at this level, but it shouldn’t be underestimated as to how such levels of abuse can affect someone.”
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