Ryan Mason backs social media boycott and reveals he was abused over skull fracture

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Dan Kilpatrick
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 (Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty I)
(Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty I)

Tottenham’s interim head coach Ryan Mason has revealed he quit social media as a player due to abuse and has backed English football’s boycott of the platforms.

Standard Sport will join clubs, players and organisations across the English game in ceasing activity on all social media channels from 3pm on Friday until 11.59pm on Monday, in response to the constant abuse of figures within football.

Mason called for an end to anonymity on social media and revealed he had even received abuse relating to the fractured skull which prematurely ended his playing career.

“I think [the boycott] is spot on,” Mason told a Zoom press conference ahead of Sunday’s visit of relegated Sheffield United.

“I think it’s right that it doesn’t just become about the sporting world. It becomes about the world as a whole because social media, they need to put things in place that protects people from certain things and many terrible messages, but also it makes people accountable as well.

“There needs to be a name and a face to anyone who wants to sign up to use these platforms. They need to put something in place that does that.

“If you want to subscribe to use these platforms, you need to have a name, you need to have an address, a name, a profile that says this is who this person is, if you’re tweeting or posting messages, whatever it is with that profile.

“Then if there’s something where they are breaking laws or doing things that are not acceptable then you know you can take action.

“I’d be lying if I said certain comments don’t affect you. We’re human beings. I had to zone out of it and had to take myself off social media as a player because I didn’t want to see it.

Evening Standard
Evening Standard

“Even after I retired I’d get messages about my injury and certain things and you almost think it’s another message and I’ll just ignore it, but these things shouldn’t be acceptable. They aren’t acceptable but they just seem to be ok to happen.

“I think the platforms need to put things in place that hold people accountable for these type of things.

“From my experience as a player you almost have to learn to live with it, which isn’t acceptable.

“It happens across so many platforms. It’s been happening for a long time, it’s been happening for a very long time.

“I’m happy that there’s a bit of momentum behind it, but action needs to be taken and it’s not acceptable that some of the abuse that you see directed at players by many different people, but we don’t know they are.

“They don’t have a name and we don’t know where they’re from. That can’t happen and it can’t happen still in the world we’re living in. So these social media platforms, they need to take some action.”

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