Governing and league bodies across men’s and women’s games join forces with clubs to cease activity on social media from 15:00 BST on Friday 30 April to 23:59 BST on Monday 3 May
Scottish football has united to support a boycott of social media in response to continuing racist and discriminatory abuse online aimed at players, staff, supporters and others associated with the game.
Clubs across the country will join the Scottish FA, Scottish Professional Football League, Scottish Women’s Football and PFA Scotland in switching-off all social media activity from 15:00 on Friday 30 April and will remain silent until 23:59 on Monday 3 May.
Clubs are invited to take part by switching off their channels or ensuring any limited posting during that time include recognition of the campaign hashtag #FootballUnites.
SSFA President Andy English said: “Discrimination of any kind is unacceptable and has no place in Scottish football. We must recognise the online abuse received by some of those involved in our game recently is abhorrent. The Scottish Schools’ Football Association remains committed to be an organisation that is inclusive and welcoming to all.
“Everyone at the SSFA will continue to work with partners, including Show Racism the Red Card, the Scottish FA, the SWF and Police Scotland to drive home the message that there’s no place in our game for discrimination of any kind.”
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.
“Through the work of our Equality and Diversity Board we have set up Football Unites, an equality framework that underlines our commitment to fairness, justice, respect, inclusion and the removal of barriers.
“At our recent summit meeting involving clubs and representatives of the game we witnessed a groundswell of people motivated to tackle inequality in all its forms. We are also in dialogue with social media companies to ensure adequate preventative measures are put in place to tackle the specific issue of online abuse via those channels.”
Show Racism the Red Card campaign manager Jordan Allison said: “Through social media, players are on the receiving end of targeted hatred on an almost daily basis. These deeply traumatising experiences are enabled by platforms that put the monetisation of footballers before their welfare.
“Our charity fully supports this united stance from Scottish football and believes it should mark the beginning of a powerful campaign that urges social media companies and governing bodies to address the concerns of black and ethnic minority players and supporters.
“Show Racism the Red Card is providing educational infographics to all clubs for use across their channels ahead of the boycott beginning. Supporters are encouraged to share these graphics in order to amplify the message and help educate as many people as possible on how to recognise online abuse, how to stay safe online, how to support victims of racism and how to report racism online.
“With young people across the country still absorbing our players’ efforts to support the anti-racism movement, our education charity will back any stance that aims to create a society for our future generation free from racism. Social media can and must do more.”