#ENOUGH Football superstars boycott social media in protest against rising racial abuse
Manchester City's Kevin de Bruyne, Arsenal defender Hector Bellerin along with Alex Scott, the former Arsenal's Women Captain, have actively supported the boycott led by the Professional Footballers Association
Professional footballers in England and Wales have taken the step to stage a 24-hour boycott of social media platforms as a protest against the way social networks and football authorities respond to racism.
The current season saw multiple players being subjected to racial abuse not just from the stands, but from social media platforms. The campaign led by the Professional Footballers Association (PFA) in England has asked the sport's governing bodies to crack the whip to those found guilty of racism offenses.
According to BBC, the PFA has released a statement, saying that the boycott was the first step in a longer campaign to tackle racism in football.
"The boycott acts as a show of unity by the players, and a call for stronger action to be taken by social networks and footballing authorities in response to racist abuse both on and off the pitch," the statement read.
#Enough— PFA | Professional Footballers' Association (@PFA) April 19, 2019
We are making a stand against racist abuse.
We recognise that our platforms come with responsibility, and so we are using our voice to stand against racist abuse.
Together, we are calling on social media platforms and footballing bodies to do more! pic.twitter.com/GT9EQjnVM4
A vast number of current and former footballers have backed the campaign. Manchester City's Kevin de Bruyne, Real Madrid's Gareth Bale, Arsenal defender, Hector Bellerin along with Alex Scott, the former Arsenal's Women Captain have actively supported the move.
"Enough is enough," said Watford's captain, Troy Deeney. Talking to CNN, Deeney remarked that the abuses that he and the team had been at the receiving end of well-documented abuse on and off the pitch
"Any racism in football is too much, and it's essential that we fight it wherever and whenever we see it.
"On Friday we are sending a message to anyone that abuses players - or anyone else - whether from the crowd or online, that we won't tolerate it within football."
He added: "The boycott is just one small step, but the players are speaking out with one voice against racism. Enough is enough."
Several players were subjected to racist chanting during England's Euro 2020 qualifier against Montenegro in Podgorica in March, where Tottenham defender, Danny Rose, one of the abuse victims declared that he couldn't wait to see the back fo football.
The abuse saga continued even in Italy when Juventus' teenage striker Moise Kean was racially abused. He found support from Manchester City's Raheem Sterling, once a victim of racial abuse himself. The star had taken to Instagram highlighting the received by the black players.
Talking to CNN about the Montenegro incident, former England midfielder, John Barnes spoke at length about the issue.
"Until we change our perceptions of what black is, which means looking down to the lowest echelons of society and looking at black people and treating them exactly the same way we treat white people in the same situation, then nothing will change.".
"It was good that Sterling mentioned that (media treatment) but more importantly you have to look at the perception people have of black people generally, not just black footballers and the influence the media plays in formulating those perceptions."
We support the initiative of the @PFA - FIFA is fully engaged in combating racism and discrimination, as clearly expressed by our President last week). FIFA is also preparing a concrete action with worldwide impact that will launch a strong campaign against discrimination.” https://t.co/Qxf59dlMF5— FIFA Media (@fifamedia) April 18, 2019
Manchester United defender, Chris Smalling felt that the time had come for social media platforms to consider regulating their channels, taking responsibility for protecting the mental health of users regardless of age, race, sex or income.
Despite the club promising to take the strongest possible action, the anti-discrimination charity 'Kick It Out' released a statement questioning social media platforms on when they would take stringent measures to ensure that this would not be a recurring issue.
In response, Twitter has stated that it is 'suspending three times more abusive accounts within 24 hours after receiving a report last time.'
According to BBC, below is a list of racial abuse episodes since 2018-19.
1. A banana skin was thrown on the pitch after Pierre-Emerick Aubmeyang scored for Arsenal.
2. Raheem Sterling suffered alleged racial abuse during a Manchester City match against Chelsea.
3. Juventus' 19-year old forward, Moise Kean was subjected to racial abuse from the stands.
4. Derby and Wigans's wingers, Duane Holmes and Nathan Byrne were targets of alleged racial abuse following a draw against Bristol City.
The #Enough campaign, organized by the Professional Footballers' Association, starts at 09:00 BST on Friday and runs until 09:00 BST on Saturday. Players have been encouraged to post a #Enough graphic on their social media platforms before the boycott.