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Scottish football to boycott social media over racist abuse

The Scottish FA, Scottish Professional Football League, Scottish Women’s Football and PFA Scotland will switch-off from 3pm on Friday.

Scottish football to boycott social media over racist abuse SNS Group
Scottish football: To unite in social media boycott.

Scottish Football will unite in a four-day boycott of social media this weekend over racist and discriminatory abuse targeting players, staff and supporters.

The Scottish FA, Scottish Professional Football League, Scottish Women’s Football and PFA Scotland will switch-off from 3pm on Friday and will remain silent until midnight on Monday.

Clubs have been invited to take part by switching off their channels or ensuring any limited posting during that time include recognition of the campaign hashtag #FootballUnites.

SPFL chief executive Neil Doncaster said: “Discrimination of any kind has absolutely no place in Scottish football and the online abuse received by some of those involved in our national game is absolutely abhorrent. The SPFL is committed to ensuring that Scottish football is inclusive and welcoming to all.

“Players and supporters from diverse backgrounds have played, and continue to play, an enormously positive and valued role in our game. Diversity is part of what makes Scottish football what it is, it should be protected and championed.

“As a society, we all have a responsibility to stamp out abusive behaviour and ensure that everyone, regardless of background, can enjoy football in this country without fear of receiving hate-filled messages online.”

Ian Maxwell, Scottish FA Chief Executive: “The Scottish FA is encouraged that football has united against the growing scourge of online abuse and we are proud to play our part in supporting the social media boycott.

And Vivienne MacLaren, Scottish Women’s Football Chair has called for social media sites to ‘stand up’ and ‘make perpetrators think twice’.

She said: “The exposure the women’s game continues to get across all media channels is extremely exciting for us all.

“What has sadly come along with this wider reach has been an increase in abusive and discriminatory language targeted at those involved in our game. This has been particularly prevalent on social media and we have made it very clear we will not tolerate this.”

Celtic issued a statement on Wednesday night saying they were pleased to be supporting the campaign

The statement said: “As a Club who has welcomed all since 1888, we are pleased to support this collective campaign.

“Sadly, through various social media platforms Celtic players, staff and supporters for some time have been subjected to racial and sectarian attacks and horrendous personal abuse – this is something which simply has to stop.

“Abusing someone because of the colour of their skin, abusing an individual due to their religion, unacceptable personal attacks or pathetically mocking the death of a loved one – our players, staff and supporters have, tragically, experienced it all through social media.

“We must all make a stand and together defeat this negative, damaging behaviour which inflicts so much harm.

“Social media can be an important, powerful tool. Let’s use it properly.”