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EFL Chair discusses social media boycott

26 April 2021

EFL Chair, Rick Parry, says English football's collective social media boycott - which was first suggested by Championship Clubs - will send "a really strong message" as work continues to tackle online abuse.

The FA, Premier League, EFL, FA Women’s Super League, FA Women’s Championship, PFA, LMA, PGMOL, Kick It Out and the FSA will unite for a social media boycott from 15.00 on Friday 30 April to 23.59 on Monday 3 May, in response to the ongoing and sustained discriminatory abuse received online by players and many others connected to football.

Speaking about the activity, which is scheduled to take place across a full fixture programme in the men’s and women’s professional game, Parry said: "I think it's extraordinarily important that we come together to send a really strong message to social media companies and, more importantly, people who use social media.

"We've actually seen the way people have come together over the Super League and there's no reason they shouldn't come together for what is a really good cause. The message is that we've had enough of the abuse, there's been too much of it and it needs to stop. 

"Enough is enough, and this alone isn't going to stop it. We hope it sends a really strong reminder, because football is massive within social media. Social media is massive for us as well and we want to work responsibly; there's been a lot of talk and correspondence but this is about action.

"I think it's important that others join us: that celebrities, fans, the media and journalists will come on board, as well as other sports. This is something that impacts all of us and the more that join in, the better."

Asked how the boycott came to be, Parry added: "It was first raised at a Championship club meeting by Brentford. Then, Swansea said 'we're doing it already and have been talking with our players' and Birmingham said they were already doing it, which is great.

"Every journey starts with a single step, and all Clubs came on board and said 'wouldn't it be great if we can all move forwards together' and even better if we can get all of the football family. The Premier League and FA have been really supportive and, in the wake of this week when people have come together for a different reason, it's another great opportunity to use that togetherness and sense of purpose.

"The opposite of doing nothing is doing something in football. We've been writing and talking and there's been a lot of thought going on, but this is action, because we need to get the message out and reinforce to people that this [online abuse] is just not acceptable. We don't accept it."

Read English football's joint statement in full here.

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