Swansea City to fall silent on social media in stand against racial abuse

Andre Ayew taking the knee in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. Credit: PA

Swansea City will be falling silent on social media in a stand against online abuse and discrimination.

From 5pm on Thursday 8 April, players and staff from across the club will not post any content online for seven days.

It follows several players being subjected to racial and 'abhorrent abuse' in the past several weeks.

The club says, "We feel it is right to take a stand against behaviour that is a blight on our sport, and society at large."

The first-team players will be joined by those in the academy professional phase (under-23s and under-18s), Swansea City Ladies, Community Trust and senior club staff.

The club's official channels will also fall silent for the week.

The decision was made following discussions between senior club staff, players and management about the discrimination the players have faced.

A spokesperson for Swansea City said: "We also want to stand with players from other clubs who have had to endure vile discrimination on social media platforms.

"As a club we are also acutely aware of how social media can impact on the mental health of players and staff, and we hope our strong stance will highlight the wider effects of abuse."

Yan Dhanda was the subject of racist abuse on social media Credit: PA

Swansea have been affected by racism several times this season, with their midfielder Yan Dhanda being the subject of social media abuse following February's FA Cup tie against Manchester City.

The club said: "Something has to change soon and, as always, we welcome any support from fellow clubs, players, fans and executives as we all continue to work together in this important fight.

The social media black-out will cover the matches against Millwall on Saturday 10 April and against Sheffield.

The club will make a return to social media at 5pm on Thursday 15 April.

All club news will continue to be posted via the official website during this period.

Swansea City captain Matt Grimes said: “As a close and diverse group of players, this is something we all feel extremely passionate about.

“Three of our squad have been racially abused in recent weeks.

“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.

“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, and we hope that this stance across the club will be supported by everyone.

“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.”

 "Enough is enough."

Troy Townsend from Kick it Out said: "Have we ever effectively dealt with racism and discrimination on our pitches, on our platforms, in the stands? And the answer to that unfortunately has to be no."

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