Premier League players boycott social media for 24 hours

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Premier League
Raheem Sterling was a victim of racist abuse during England's Euro qualifier against Montenegro in one of several incidents over the past few months.

The PFA has urged all Premier League players to join hands against racism in their newly-launched #Enough campaign, according to which they will boycott the use of social media for 24 hours starting at 9 AM on Friday. 

A plethora of racist incidents have occurred inside stadiums and on social media sites in the past few months, with football authorities heavily scrutinized for their lack of effort in curbing the epidemic. 

The Premier League also launched the #NoRoomForRacism campaign last month, after the vile abuse faced by Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling and Chelsea’s Callum Hudson-Odoi whilst on international duty with England against Montenegro. 

The #Enough campaign, however, is a pledge to social media networks and online authorities who have found it difficult to control the escalating racist comments and abuse flooded towards players and athletes. 

Most recently, Manchester United captain Ashley Young was ruthlessly targeted on Twitter following their 3-0 loss at Barcelona on Tuesday. The club has come out and said that they will take the “strongest possible action” in the wake of the incident.

Watford skipper Troy Deeney has also backed the initiative by the PFA, and claimed that racism cannot be tolerated in this game. 

”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”, said Deeney.

Tottenham left-back Danny Rose’s comments earlier this month made headlines when the Englishman stated that he ”cannot wait” to get out of football. Rose poured out his frustration at the lack of action and effort taken towards incidents involving racist abuse.  

”We are simply not willing to stand by while too little is done by football authorities and social media companies to protect players from this disgusting abuse”, he said. 

Troy Deeney (left) and Danny Rose (right) are leading the boycott which will see Premier League players not using social media for 24 hours.

A statement from the PFA read: “We are making a stand against racist abuse.“We recognize 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.”

“Football has the power to do so much good in the world. We must always try to use the sport’s popularity and influence to make positive change. Over the last few months we have seen a rise in appalling instances of racist abuse at grounds around the world, and on social media. We cannot stand by while too little is done to address this unacceptable behaviour.”

Manchester United centre-back Chris Smalling rallied the #Enough campaign as he called out social media bodies to take significant action. 

“Throughout my career I have developed a thick skin against verbal abuse, justifying it as just ‘part of the game’, but the time has come for Twitter, Instagram and Facebook to consider regulating their channels.”

Premier League players will post a photo with the hashtag #Enough to mark the beginning of their 24-hour boycott of social media. Many high-profile names like Yaya Toure and Raheem Sterling are also championing the cause as they hope to catch attention of social media authorities in order to take a much-needed stand against the wrongdoers.

It has even gone beyond the Premier League with Real Madrid’s Gareth Bale also changing his profile picture on social media