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Leading Premier League players plan 24-hour social media blackout

:Headline: Leading Premier League players plan 24-hour social media blackout:
Players are set to stay off online platforms on Friday after posting the hashtag #Enough.
PA | 1mo

Leading Premier League stars have backed a 24-hour social media boycott in protest at an escalation of incidents of racial abuse online.

The campaign launched by the Professional Footballers’ Association will urge players to stay off social media from 0900 on Friday morning after posting the hashtag #Enough.

The PFA say it is intended as a show of solidarity with players who have been targeted, as well as a demand to social media organisations and the game’s authorities that more needs to be done.

Simone Pound, Head of Equalities at the PFA, said: “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.

“The PFA has always been at the forefront of tackling racism and we are reaffirming our commitment to all of our members. We will do all we can to put an end to the abuse players face on the pitch and online.”

Chris Smalling was racially abused after Manchester United’s defeat in Barcelona (Ian Hodgson/PA)

Manchester United defender Chris Smalling has given his strong backing to the campaign after he was abused on Twitter after his side’s Champions League defeat in Barcelona this week.

Smalling joins a lengthening list of players, also including  Mohamed Salah, Danny Welbeck, Raheem Sterling, Michy Batshuayi, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Moussa Sissoko, who have received abuse over the same platform in recent years.

Smalling said: “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, taking responsibility for protecting the mental health of users regardless of age, race, sex or income.

“The time has come for Twitter, Instagram and Facebook to consider regulating their channels”
- Chris Smalling

“I understand that I am in an extremely privileged position and I am deeply thankful for that but, at the end of the day, we are all human.

“As a patron of a youth education charity it is my duty to use my platform as a voice for all, regardless of background. We have to take a greater stand against discrimination of all kinds.”

Concern is mounting over racism in football after a spate of attacks on players both on social media and in and around stadiums.

Danny Rose says he “can’t wait” to quit the game after racist abuse (Nick Potts/PA)

England’s black players were subjected to repeated chants during their Euro 2020 qualifier in Montenegro last month, while Tottenham defender Danny Rose revealed recently he has “had enough” and “can’t wait” to quit the game.

Rose said: “When I said that I can’t wait to see the back of football, it is because of the racism that I, and many other players, have been subjected to our entire careers.

“Football has a problem with racism.

“I don’t want any future players to go through what I’ve been through in my career.

“Collectively, 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.”

World governing body FIFA gave its backing to the campaign, saying in a statement on Twitter: “We support the initiative of the @PFA – FIFA is fully engaged in combating racism and discrimination, as clearly expressed by our President (Gianni Infantino) last week. FIFA is also preparing a concrete action with worldwide impact that will launch a strong campaign against discrimination.”

World players’ union FIFPro added its support too, tweeting: “Players are subjected to all kinds of hate speech on social media. #Racism is one of the ugliest forms.

“We stand with the @PFA, player associations and football players around the world.”

In response, a Twitter spokesperson said: “Our abusive behaviour policy prohibits action which attempts to harass, intimidate or silence another person’s voice and we take strong enforcement action if violations are found.

“Progress in this space is tough, but we are deeply committed to improving the health of the conversation on the platform.

“To this end, we are now suspending 3 times more abusive accounts within 24 hours after receiving a report than this time last year. We’ll continue building on this work to prioritise the safety of our users.”



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Premier League Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
CManchester CityMan City38322495237298
2Liverpool38307189226797
3Chelsea38219863392472
4Tottenham HotspurSpurs382321367392871
5Arsenal382171073512270
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd381991065541166
7Wolverhampton WanderersWolves38169134746157
8Everton38159145446854
9Leicester CityLeicester38157165148352
10West Ham UnitedWest Ham38157165255-352
11Watford38148165259-750
12Crystal Palace38147175153-249
13Newcastle UnitedNewcastle38129174248-645
14Bournemouth38136195670-1445
15Burnley38117204568-2340
16Southampton38912174565-2039
17Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton3899203560-2536
RCardiff CityCardiff38104243469-3534
RFulham3875263481-4726
RHuddersfield TownHuddersfield3837282276-5416
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Premier League Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
CManchester CityMan City38322495237298
2Liverpool38307189226797
3Chelsea38219863392472
4Tottenham HotspurSpurs382321367392871
5Arsenal382171073512270
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd381991065541166
7Wolverhampton WanderersWolves38169134746157
8Everton38159145446854
9Leicester CityLeicester38157165148352
10West Ham UnitedWest Ham38157165255-352
11Watford38148165259-750
12Crystal Palace38147175153-249
13Newcastle UnitedNewcastle38129174248-645
14Bournemouth38136195670-1445
15Burnley38117204568-2340
16Southampton38912174565-2039
17Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton3899203560-2536
RCardiff CityCardiff38104243469-3534
RFulham3875263481-4726
RHuddersfield TownHuddersfield3837282276-5416
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