English rugby and cricket join football in social media boycott

By Sports Desk April 29, 2021

English rugby and cricket will follow football in a social media boycott aimed at combatting the ongoing problem of online abuse.

Last Sunday, it was announced that teams from the top men's and women's leagues in England would not post to their social media accounts from Friday until next Monday, with players expected to follow suit.

A joint statement from governing bodies including the FA, the Premier League, the Women's Super League and the Professional Footballers' Association (PFA), confirmed the action was aimed at demonstrating "that the game is willing to take voluntary and proactive steps in this continued fight".

On Wednesday, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) confirmed all 18 first-class county sides, as well as regional women's teams and the Professional Cricketers' Association (PCA) "will stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the football community" by taking part in the blackout.

PCA chief executive Rob Lynch said: "Social media companies have to do more. Our members are often victims of horrific online abuse with little or no punishment for the perpetrators and this has to change.

"A unified silence from players and the wider game is a powerful stance to show that our members will not allow social media companies, which have brought so much benefit to the game, to continue to ignore and fail to prioritise the need for appropriate legislation in protecting people against online discriminatory behaviour."

On Thursday, England Rugby announced that all social media channels run by the Rugby Football Union (RFU) would also join the boycott, along with leading clubs.

Sarah Hunter, who this month captained England to a third successive Women's Six Nations title, said: "No professional sportsperson should have to suffer abuse, racism or harassment on social media.

"We've all seen how social media can help bring fans and players closer together but this does not mean abuse should be ignored.

"While we have an important Test match in France on Friday, we understand there are bigger and more important issues and hopefully this is an important statement that online hate will not be tolerated."

Related items

  • CF Montreal v D.C. United: Courtois pleased to 'stop the bleeding' CF Montreal v D.C. United: Courtois pleased to 'stop the bleeding'

    Laurent Courtois was pleased to see CF Montreal "stop the bleeding" with Saturday's goalless draw against Nashville SC, but he knows more is needed when they host D.C. United on Wednesday. 

    Montreal are winless in their last nine matches across all competitions (four draws, five losses) and sit 13th of 15 teams in the Eastern Conference.

    They did at least snap a four-game losing streak with that stalemate, and Courtois wants them to use that result as a platform.

    "I heard a couple of guys talking about 'stopping the bleeding' and I hate it, but it's the reality of the moment," said Courtois.

    "We're happy in the sense that we were able to get back to our standards of commitment and competitiveness, but we know that we need more at home, so we have to get back to work."

    D.C. were also held to a draw last time out as their own winless run stretched to three matches, being pegged back in a 1-1 home tie with the Chicago Fire.

    Coach Troy Lesesne was less than pleased with his team's performance in that match, saying: "In the end, we were fortunate to get a point out of that, and that's not good enough.

    "Maybe there wasn't enough service. I think it was to do with how we went out. 

    "In the first half you could see our identity by the way we went out, but you could not see that in the second half." 

    PLAYERS TO WATCH 

    CF Montreal – Josef Martinez

    Martinez has scored eight regular-season goals against D.C. United, equalling the most he has scored against any opponent in his MLS career (also eight versus the New England Revolution and Orlando City).

    D.C. United – Christian Benteke

    D.C. have won 347 aerial duels this season, over 100 more than any other MLS team and almost three times as many as Montreal. 

    Montreal have won 122 aerial duels this year, the second-fewest in MLS and 42 fewer than Benteke alone (164).

    MATCH PREDICTION – CF MONTREAL WIN

    D.C. have won two straight matches against Montreal in all competitions, but the only three-game winning streak achieved by either team against the other came in 2016-17 (three victories for Montreal).

    Montreal's nine-match winless run is their joint-longest across all competitions since they joined MLS in 2012 (also nine in 2013-14).

    However, D.C. have failed to win any of their last three matches (one draw, two losses) and have only won one of their last 13 on the road (seven draws, five defeats).

    OPTA WIN PROBABILITY

    CF Montreal – 46.9%

    D.C. United – 25.7%

    Draw – 27.4% 

  • Terzic: Dortmund ready to snap Madrid's perfect Champions League final run Terzic: Dortmund ready to snap Madrid's perfect Champions League final run

    Edin Terzic believes Borussia Dortmund can break Real Madrid's winning run in Champions League finals when they meet in the showcase at Wembley on Saturday.

    Madrid have won all eight finals they have played in since the Champions League replaced the European Cup in 1992, while they have also won five Champions League titles in the past 10 seasons for a total of 14 European crowns.

    Terzic said records were there to be broken, but Dortmund would need to perform at the highest level.

    "We have to have the belief that we can achieve big things," Terzic told a press conference. "We have to invest everything to bring the trophy back to Dortmund. It has been a long time."

    Dortmund won the competition in 1997 and reached the final again in 2013, though they lost to Bayern Munich in an all-German showdown.

    "The most important thing is if you want to win the Champions League you have to beat the champions," Terzic said. "We now face the absolute champions.

    "They have had this experience 14 times, won it five times in the past 10 years. But our aim is always to break it down to one game.

    "Eight Champions League finals and they never lost. But what matters is not what happened in the previous eight. What matters is only the next one. It is time to break that run."

    Dortmund finished fifth in the Bundesliga this season, narrowly securing their Champions League spot for next season. In 2023, they had been title contenders, narrowly missing out on the league trophy on the final matchday.

    Terzic said that bitter experience a year ago, however, contributed to their success this season.

    "I had said it at the time that I would have done without this chapter of my life, but this day was from that point part of our road to success," he said.

    "Now we travel to London with the same fans who, a year ago, after that bitter match [on the final Bundesliga matchday], kept supporting us and singing for hours. It is time to give something back, and we will have the chance to hopefully celebrate together."

  • Owen gives Bellingham 'massive chance' of Ballon d'Or success Owen gives Bellingham 'massive chance' of Ballon d'Or success

    Michael Owen believes Jude Bellingham has a "massive chance" of winning the Ballon d'Or after a stand-out debut season at Real Madrid.

    Los Blancos won their 36th LaLiga title, losing just one of their league games while finishing 10 points clear of second-place Barcelona.

    Bellingham ended the league campaign as Madrid’s top-scorer, netting 19 LaLiga goals and added another four in the Champions League to help them on their way to the final.

    The attacking-midfielder has also created more chances under pressure (19) than any other midfielder in the Champions League, with four of those resulting in an assist for a Madrid teammate.

    Bellingham is due to join up with England for Euro 2024 following the Champions League final as the Three Lions aim to win their first major trophy since 1966.

    Bellingham is among the favourites to get his hands on the Ballon d'Or and would be the first Englishman to win it since Owen himself in 2001.

    "The Ballon d'Or comes to players who have an exceptional season, not only personally, but who have had a season where they have won something or multiple titles," Owen told TNT Sports.

    "If Jude Bellingham goes and wins LaLiga, which he already has done, as well as the Champions League all while being one of the stars of the show in that team, then he has got to be in the conversation.

    "A lot will depend on Euro 2024 with England. If he has a good tournament and England go far, then you could rightly say that he has a massive chance."

    Bellingham will face former club Borussia Dortmund at Wembley on Saturday as Madrid aim to lift a record-extending 15th title in the European Cup.

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.