Chris Smalling.

Reds join anti-racism social media boycott

Manchester United defender Chris Smalling and some of his team-mates are taking part in a boycott of all social media on Friday, as part of a new Professional Footballers' Association (PFA) initiative aimed at tackling racism.

During recent months, a series of player-targeted racist incidents have blighted the sport, both in the UK and across the world, so the PFA have launched #Enough - a campaign which ‘encourages players not to use any form of social media' from 9am on 19 April to 9am the following day.
 
The boycott is designed to display unity among the players, and to demand more decisive and effective responses to acts of racist abuse from social media networks and football’s governing bodies.
Chris Smalling
Smalling is a prominent voice in the PFA's new campaign.
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. 
 
“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 [Football Beyond Borders] 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.”

The PFA has urged its members to post an #Enough graphic on their social media profiles across different platforms ahead of the 24-hour boycott, which Smalling did just over half an hour before the boycott's 9am start.

Smalling was among several players to speak out, alongside Watford skipper Troy Deeney, Arsenal Women forward Danielle Carter, Leicester City captain Wes Morgan, Wycombe's Adebayo Akinfenwa  and Tottenham Hotspur's Danny Rose.
 
Rose commented:
“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.”

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Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard also tweeted their support for the #Enough campaign...

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