Time to get tough - Leeds United and Premier League would be right to boycott social media

THERE is no place for it.

Thursday, 15th April 2021, 11:41 am

Not now. Not ever.

So English football's governing bodies need to get tough and trigger a blanket boycott of social media over the abhorrent abuse seen across Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Why should players put it up with it? Why should anyone?

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HORRENDOUS ABUSE: Suffered by former Leeds United forward and now Rangers striker Kemar Roofe on social media. Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images.

Stuart Broad hit the nail on the head when discussing the fact that the England cricket team could join a boycott as Broad spoke of the racist abuse suffered by team mate Jofra Archer.

"It beggars my belief that someone could write some of the messages to my team-mates that they have to Jofra," said Broad.

"If you said some of the stuff people say on social media on the street, it wouldn't end well would it?"

Absolutely right.

And if it wouldn't end well in the street, then why should it end well on social media?

It should end with a boycott but in football circles the game's governing bodies need to lead from the front and show that abuse online simply will not be tolerated in this day and age.

This is the chance for the FA, the Premier League and the EFL to join forces and make a strong statement via actions and not words about just how serious this problem is.

It is something that UEFA failed miserably with in handing Slavia Prague’s Ondrej Kudela a ten-game ban for racially abusing Glen Kamara during the Europa League tie at Ibrox in March.

Ten games might sound a lot but it really isn't and the punishment was the minimum ban that UEFA had to hand out as per their rules and regulations which states that racist behaviour constitutes a ban of 'at least ten matches'.

Kamara's lawyer Aamer Anwar called the punishment "tokenism" and insisted that Kudela should have been looking at a minimum one-year ban, not ten games

As Anwar put it, if you racially abused a work colleague in another line of business you would likely be fired.

So why just ten games?

And football now needs to make sure that it does not make a similar mistake regarding the abuse suffered by players on social media by taking a very tough stand and applying unity across the board.

Swansea City, Birmingham City and Rangers are all boycotting social media for seven days and the abuse suffered by Rangers' former Whites striker Kemar Roofe has been horrific.

Why should he put up that with that? Why should anyone?

Why aren't Twitter, Instagram and Facebook doing more about it?

The fact that users can also get away with creating accounts whereby the individual concerned appears as anonymous is also ridiculous.

Like Broad says, it wouldn't be that way in the street, so why should it be so online?

One of these accounts then dishes out horrendous racist abuse so their account gets suspended or removed.

Big deal.

But a blanket boycott presents a course of action that can come from within and one that needs to happen now.

The YEP understands that Leeds United would support a ban on their players using social media but are awaiting any guidance from the powers that be as in the Premier League and the FA.

If something happens, it needs to be across the board.

Leeds United are naturally keen to help stamp out racism and abuse in general across the game.

Sadly, even in 2021, even with the Black Lives Matter movement and players taking a knee, the problem is not going away.

Maybe then, players should be going away from social media - and now is the time for English football's governing bodies to take firm action.

Lead from the front.

Show just how serious this problem is - and let social media scumbags know that there is no place for such horrendous abuse across these channels.

Not now. Not ever.

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Thank you Laura Collins