Social media boycott begins as players demand regulation of racist abuse online

Footballers across England boycotted social media for 24 hours in a stand against racism on Friday.

Marcus Rashford, Jesse Lingard, Georginio Wijnaldum, Wes Morgan and Alex Iwobi are among those who have joined the Professional Footballers' Association (PFA) campaign to abstain from Twitter, Facebook and Instagram from 9 a.m. Friday until 9 a.m. Saturday in an effort to put pressure on social media platforms and footballing organisations to crack down on racist abuse.

Before their online embargo, many posted a final message to their online accounts, some using the hashtag "#Enough."

"We are making a stand against racist abuse," the posts read.

"We recognise that our platforms come with responsibility, and so we are using our voice to stand against racist abuse.

"Together, we are calling on social media platforms and footballing bodies to do more!"

Star names not currently playing in England such as David Beckham, Wayne Rooney and Gareth Bale as well as a number of clubs such as Watford, Crystal Palace and Burnley also posted their support to the cause.

The boycott was birthed in response to a series of high-profile incidents of racism in England and abroad in recent weeks and months.

England and Tottenham defender Danny Rose was targeted with monkey noises while playing for England in Montenegro during a Euro 2020 qualifier in March.

Earlier this week, Manchester United condemned abuse directed at Ashley Young online following the club's Champions League exit at Barcelona.

Watford captain Troy Deeney was also targeted with racial insults on Instagram earlier this month after scoring in an FA Cup semifinal win over Wolverhampton.

"I don't want any future players to go through what I've been through in my career," said Rose, speaking before the planned action, on Thursday.

World football's governing body FIFA announced their support of the boycott on Thursday, saying that it was listening to the concerns of players and supporting their decision.

"We applaud the initiative of the English professional football players," FIFA said in a statement to The Associated Press. "FIFA is fully engaged in combating racism and any form of discrimination not only in football but society in general."

Information from The Associated Press was used in this article.