It’s a unique process in the sports world: Several football clubs and many sports stars jointly announced Friday that they will boycott social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram or Twitter until at least Monday. The background is the “#StopOnlineAbuse” campaign, which aims to force the companies behind the platforms to take responsibility for engaging against hate speech and racism.
“We want these platforms to run faster and more responsibly. Social media should be a place where trolls and hate commentators feel uncomfortable – not football fans,” says Sanjay Bhandari, whose organization “Kick It Out” is behind the boycott. In addition to all clubs from the Premier League and the Second Division Championship, Formula 1 has also announced that it will support the boycott. “We strongly oppose any form of discrimination – whether online or in real life,” the race series organizers said in an official statement.
The boycott continues until at least Monday evening
Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton has also announced that he will not share any content on his social media accounts from the Portuguese Grand Prix taking place over the weekend. Even if the boycott does not guarantee that everything changes overnight, we must stand against discrimination. Even if it seems difficult. The seven-time world champion said on Instagram, “Sport has the power to unite us all.”
The boycott, which has been joined by the English Rugby, Cricket and Tennis Federation, continues until at least midnight Monday. It mainly affects British athletes and teams, because on the weekends there are bank holidays in Great Britain, when many major sporting events are traditionally held and the interest of fans is great. The aforementioned social media companies have yet to comment on the boycott.