Swansea City have announced a week-long social media boycott on all platforms to combat abuse and discrimination.
Players, including first-team, academy sides and women’s team, staff and the club’s official accounts will stop posting from 8 April.
Swansea’s Jamal Lowe, Ben Cabango and Yan Dhanda have been racially abused on social media in the past two months.
“We hope that this stance across the club will be supported by everyone,” said Swansea City captain Matt Grimes.
“As a close and diverse group of players, this is something we all feel extremely passionate about.
“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.”
Updates from the club’s upcoming fixtures against Millwall and Sheffield Wednesday, as well as any latest news, will continue to be published on the club’s official website.
Championship rivals Birmingham City and Scottish champions Rangers have followed Swansea’s lead in announcing a boycott of social media.
“Regardless of who such abhorrent abuse on social media is directed towards, Blues do not believe this should determine who speaks out against it and that making this stance together is paramount to ridding the game and society of this evil,” Birmingham said in a statement.
Swansea City’s chief executive Julian Winter has sent letters to Twitter CEO, Jack Dorsey, and Facebook’s founder, chairman and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, to ask for “more stringent policing and punishments for those guilty of the appalling and cowardly abuse”.
In February 2020, Facebook said it was “horrified” at the online abuse at footballers and announced a change to the rules governing direct messaging on Instagram, a platform it also owns.
In the same month the UK government threatened social media companies with fines which could amount to “billions of pounds” if they fail to tackle abuse on their platforms.
“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,” added Grimes.
“Social media has provided so many positives over the last decade, however the sickening and vile abuse that we are seeing on a daily and weekly basis is wholly unacceptable.
“We are a family and we will always stand shoulder to shoulder with each other, whether that’s on the pitch or helping to fight injustice off of it.”
Swansea head coach Steve Cooper has spoken to the club’s players who have suffered racist abuse, and he highlighted a conversation he had with Swans forward Lowe on the team bus on the way back from last Friday’s 1-0 defeat at Birmingham City.
“Jamal’s fine. He’s a fantastic person, a very good professional. He’s a father himself. He was the third of the three who received this racism,” said Cooper.
“The most important thing is raising awareness of what’s happened. For me, the saddest part is when I found out which was on the team bus when I sat with him, he said ‘this happens now doesn’t it’.
“For Jamal to think that it’s normal, for me, was the most disheartening bit after the actual act of discrimination. That’s what people don’t see.
“The most important thing is the welfare of the guys who receive the abuse, but then it’s the aftermath of how their families and team-mates react.
“With Yan [Dhanda], it was a good two or three days after where it really hit him, and then it’s his mum and dad and his siblings.
“They’re the bits people don’t see. Unfortunately with us we’ve had three incidents in the last seven weeks.
“We wanted to make a united front to support the boys first and foremost but, in general, we want to help the fight as much as we can.”
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