by Jamil Salih
PROFESSIONAL footballers in England and Wales have today boycotted social media as part of a PFA campaign to fight back against racism.
The #Enough campaign is headed by the Professional Footballers’ Association, who have encouraged players not to post on any social media platforms for 24 hours, beginning at 9am on Friday 19 April.
The PFA stated that “the boycott is the first step in a longer campaign to tackle racism in football and the campaign seeks to shine a light on the need for social media platforms to take responsibility to address racism received by professional footballers and other users online.
“Over the last few months, both domestically and internationally, there have been a number of high-profile racist incidents directed at players. 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.”
Amongst the leading stars partaking in the boycott are Wales’ Gareth Bale, Aaron Ramsey, Ethan Ampadu and Natasha Harding.
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/7WGXwGatd7
— Gareth Bale (@GarethBale11) April 19, 2019
The campaign follows a long list of recent racially motivated incidents directed at players such as Raheem Sterling, Mohamed Salah, Chris Smalling and Troy Deeney, who turned off the ability to comment on his Instagram posts following racial abuse in the aftermath of Watford’s FA Cup semi-final triumph.
The Watford captain reiterated that “it is essential that we fight racism wherever and whenever we see it” and also went on to offer his support to the #Enough campaign whilst continuing to remind people that the movement is just the beginning in the fight to rid the game of racism.
“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.
The boycott is just one small step, but the players are speaking out with one voice against racism – enough is enough.”