Guardian Sport joins social media boycott in campaign against hate online


Guardian Sport in the UK is to join the boycott of social media by football and other sports this weekend as part of a campaign against racism and discrimination online.

The boycott, announced by the leading English football organisations, covers the weekend’s programme of football fixtures, from 3pm on Friday 30 April until 11.59pm on Monday 3 May.

Other sporting bodies have joined the boycott including Uefa, the England and Wales Cricket Board, the Professional Cricketers’ Association, Premiership Rugby and the Lawn Tennis Association, highlighting the fight against discrimination and urging the social media giants to do more to eradicate online hate.

Will Woodward, head of sport at Guardian News & Media, said: “To show solidarity in the campaign against racism and other forms of online discrimination, this weekend we have decided to suspend posting directly from the Guardian Sport Twitter, Facebook (football and wider sport) and Instagram accounts in the UK, alongside other organisations in the sporting community who are boycotting social media over this period. This move should be seen hand in hand with our commitment to keep reporting on and investigating this important subject, including an in-depth special report in the coming weeks.

“We generally aren’t in favour of boycotts or blackouts and believe news and robust comment are essential. But the relentless abuse must stop. It’s important to take a stand.”

Many Guardian and Observer sportswriters are also joining the boycott on their own personal social media accounts. The Guardian website and Guardian and Observer papers will continue to provide a full complement of sport match reports, news, features and results.

The boycott was announced in a joint statement last Saturday by the Premier League, English Football League, FA Women’s Super League, FA Women’s Championship, Professional Footballers’ Association, League Managers Association, the referees’ body PGMOL, anti-racism campaign Kick It Out, Women in Football and the Football Supporters Association. Sponsors and other media companies including Sky Sports and TalkSport are also taking part.