Premiership Rugby joining football’s social media boycott in fight against abuse and discrimination

George Flood
·2-min read
<p>Premiership Rugby will take part in football’s social media boycott</p> (PA)

Premiership Rugby will take part in football’s social media boycott


Premiership Rugby will join English football’s social media boycott this weekend.

Neither English rugby’s top-flight or any of its 12 member clubs - backed by the Rugby Players’ Association (RPA) - will post anything on their respective social media accounts from 3pm BST on Friday, April 30 through 11:59pm on Monday, May 3.

The boycott, first announced over the weekend and covering Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, aims to “emphasise that social media companies must do more to eradicate online hate, while highlighting the importance of educating people in the ongoing fight against discrimination”.

The Football Association, Premier League, EFL, FA Women’s Super League, FA Women’s Championship, Professional Footballers’ Association, League Managers’ Association, PGMOL, Kick It Out, Women in Football and the Football Supporters’ Association will all fall silent on social media across the three-day period.

Broadcasters BT Sport and talkSPORT will also be taking part in the boycott, along with the ECB, Professional Cricketers’ Association, all 18 first-class cricket counties and the Lawn Tennis Association.

Sponsors such as Barclays, Budweiser and Cazoo have also signed up, while Adidas will be stopping all advertising across its platforms this weekend.

In a statement, Premiership Rugby said they are giving their full support to BT’s new multi-million pound ‘Draw the Line’ campaign aimed at stepping up and taking a stand against hate speech and abuse on social media.

“Premiership Rugby is committed to tackling the major issues that sport and society are facing. These issues are important to the longer-term future of our sport, but equally have a major impact on the communities we operate in,” said Wayne Morris, the chair of Premiership Rugby’s diversity and inclusion group.

“We are committed to making Premiership Rugby a diverse, welcoming and inclusive environment for our staff, players and fans and are delighted to join BT with this innovative campaign designed to tackle social media abuse and online hate of any kind.

“We want to make this a proactive campaign, so following this weekend’s social media boycott, we are committing to responding, deleting, blocking or reporting hate and abuse to ensure our own social channels are safer spaces”

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