Players' racism protest spurs racist comments
Footballers in England boycotting social media in a protest against racism were targeted with abuse in comments from other users on the players' posts about the 24-hour campaign.
Talks with the social media companies are now being sought by the Professional Footballers' Association, which coordinated the "Enough" campaign to demand a crackdown on racism by the platforms.
#Enough— PFA | Professional Footballers' Association (@PFA) April 19, 2019
We are making a stand against racist abuse.
We recognise 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! pic.twitter.com/GT9EQjnVM4
There was silence on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram from many players starting at 8 a.m. local time Friday and lasting 24 hours.
"Yesterday, some members received racist abuse on their #Enough posts. When these incidents were reported, the response from social networks was -- again -- unacceptable," the PFA said in a statement. "In the coming days, we will be inviting players to report any racist abuse they have received to us. We will collate it and share it with social platforms to demonstrate the impact of their lack of action."
Social media companies did not appear to respond on their networks to the players' concerns despite widespread coverage and support from FIFA for the boycott. There was no immediate response for comment from Twitter or Facebook, which also owns Instagram.
"We will be requesting meetings with each of the social platforms as a matter of priority," the PFA said. "Meetings with the Football Association and government are planned for next month. This is a first step in a larger player-led campaign to tackle racism and demand meaningful change."
The boycott was led by Tottenham defender Danny Rose, who was targeted with monkey noises while playing for England in Montenegro last month, and Manchester United defender Chris Smalling, who called for more stringent regulation of posts on social media.