'I hope it makes a difference': Midlands football clubs join social media blackout against online abuse

An alliance of English football's clubs, players and governing bodies have gone silent on social media in a show of solidarity against racism and online abuse.

Clubs across the Midlands, from Premier League teams to lower league football, are joining in.

West Bromwich Albion's manager says he hopes other sports will join in too, while Aston Villa have tweeted, "Enough is Enough", and Birmingham City FC says "we must demand change."

Wolves shared this video to mark the boycott:

Leicester City and Nottingham Forest FC have joined in, and Derby County put out this statement:

Nottingham Forest have joined football teams around the country by going silent on social media for 3 days Credit: Nottingham Forest FC

Jack Grealish is among the football players taking part from their personal social media accounts.

Why the social media blackout?

It follows a week-long boycott held by a few clubs earlier this month in response to racism a number of players received.

Birmingham City joined Swansea City players and staff in boycotting social media following a spate of "abhorrent" racial abuse on 8 April.

It came after Swans player Jamal Lowe was racially abused on Instagram the day after the team's defeat in Birmingham. Players Yan Dhanda and Ben Cabango were also targeted.

In response, major organisations such as the FA, Premier League, EFL and Women in Football put out a joint statement marking this weekend as an industry-wide boycott of social media platforms.

The sporting bodies chose a weekend packed with sporting fixtures, where clubs would usually be posting regular updates, to make their silence more obvious.

Many are calling on the platforms to do more to stamp out abuse, with harsher punishments for those found guilty.

As President of the FA, The Duke of Cambridge has tweeted his support.

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