Region's clubs join social media boycott in stand against racism and abuse

Credit: PA

The chairman of Annan Athletic, Philip Jones, says there is still a lot to do to stop discrimination and racism in football. 

It comes as sporting teams in Cumbria and the South of Scotland have united in a social media boycott over lack of action on online abuse.

The boycott across Facebook, Instagram and Twitter channels started at 3pm on Friday (30 April) and will last through until 11.59pm tonight (3 May).

Queen of the South, Annan Athletic and Carlisle United are among the teams in our region taking a stand, amid a rising tide of racist and sexist abuse directed on social media.

Palmerston Park. Credit: PA

Ian Maxwell, Scottish FA Chief Executive said: “Through the work of our Equality and Diversity Board we have set up Football Unites, an equality framework that underlines our commitment to fairness, justice, respect, inclusion and the removal of barriers.

“At our recent summit meeting involving clubs and representatives of the game we witnessed a groundswell of people motivated to tackle inequality in all its forms. We are also in dialogue with social media companies to ensure adequate preventative measures are put in place to tackle the specific issue of online abuse via those channels.”

Marcus Rashford is among those to have called on social media companies to tackle online abuse. Credit: PA

Scottish Women’s Football Chair Viviane McLaren said: “The exposure the women’s game continues to get across all media channels is extremely exciting for us all.

"What has sadly come along with this wider reach has been an increase in abusive and discriminatory language targeted at those involved in our game.

"This has been particularly prevalent on social media and we have made it very clear we will not tolerate this."

Some athletes, sponsors and sporting broadcasters will also take part in the social media blackout over the bank holiday weekend, including talkSPORT and BT Sport.