EPL

Rose, Smalling and Deeney launch PFA anti-racism campaign #Enough

By Sports Desk April 18, 2019

Danny Rose, Chris Smalling and Troy Deeney are among the Premier League players who will boycott social media for 24 hours as part of a Professional Footballers' Association (PFA) initiative to take a stand against racism. 

The PFA's #Enough campaign will encourage players in England and Wales to refrain from using their personal accounts between 09:00 GMT on Friday until the same time the following day. 

Rose was racially abused during last month's Euro 2020 qualifier in Montenegro alongside England team-mates Raheem Sterling and Callum Hudson-Odoi, and the Tottenham full-back recently said he "can't wait to see the back of football". 

In the past week Arsenal and Chelsea both condemned supporters who allegedly abused Kalidou Koulibaly and Mohamed Salah respectively and the proliferation of such incidents has persuaded the PFA to act. 

"When I said that I can't wait to see the back of football, it is because of the racism that I, and many other players, have been subjected to our entire careers," Rose said. "Football has a problem with racism.

"I don't want any future players to go through what I've been through in my career. Collectively, we are simply not willing to stand by while too little is done by football authorities and social media companies to protect players from this disgusting abuse." 

The PFA has also pledged to continue its work with the Football Association and apply more pressure to governing bodies FIFA and UEFA through the international players' union FIFPro. 

Manchester United centre-back Smalling said: "Throughout my career I have developed a thick skin against verbal abuse, justifying it as just 'part of the game' but the time has come for Twitter, Instagram and Facebook to consider regulating their channels, taking responsibility for protecting the mental health of users regardless of age, race, sex or income.

"I understand that I am in an extremely privileged position and I am deeply thankful for that but, at the end of the day, we are all human. 

"As a patron of a youth education charity it is my duty to use my platform as a voice for all, regardless of background. We have to take a greater stand against discrimination of all kinds." 

Leicester City captain Wes Morgan, Arsenal forward Danielle Carter and Wycombe Wanderers striker Adebayo Akinfenwa also launched the PFA campaign alongside Deeney, the Watford forward who was targeted by racist messages alongside team-mates Adrian Mariappa and Christian Kabasele after scoring in his team's dramatic FA Cup semi-final win over Wolves. 

"My team-mates and I have been on the receiving end of well documented abuse from a minority of narrow-minded, ignorant people both on social media and on the pitch," Deeney said. 

"Any racism in football is too much, and it's essential that we fight it wherever and whenever we see it. 

"On Friday we are sending a message to anyone that abuses players - or anyone else - whether from the crowd or online, that we won't tolerate it within football."

Deeney added: "The boycott is just one small step, but the players are speaking out with one voice against racism – enough is enough." 

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