Wigan Athletic 'have discussed' social media boycott

Wigan Athletic manager Leam Richardson would give his backing if the club decided to join other clubs and boycott social media.

Friday, 9th April 2021, 2:01 pm
Updated Friday, 9th April 2021, 2:02 pm
Leam Richardson

Swansea took the move when three players - including ex-Latics ace Jamal Lowe - were racially abused on social media, with the Championship club declaring "enough is enough".

Birmingham and Rangers quickly followed, with the newly-crowned Scottish champions starting their week-long boycott of all social media channels at 7pm on Thursday night. Rangers managing director Stewart Robertson said: "Everyone is losing patience with the lack of action from social media companies."

Asked whether Wigan Athletic may follow suit, manager Leam Richardson said: "First and foremost, it has been discussed.

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"In my opinion I'd support anything that gets the message out there. We're in 2021 and for some reason you have a minority who have an opinion that is not welcome any more. If it takes that, and we can join forces as a unit to lead that, I think it's a great idea."

Richardson says a collective boycott, including some of the Premier League giants, would send out a strong message.

"You'll always have a minority... but with unity comes a bond and with that bond comes a message, and hopefully we can educate that minority," he said. "If that's what it takes, we'll go forward and do that."

Liverpool this week called for "the strongest possible preventative measures" to be taken over racist abuse on social media after Trent Alexander-Arnold, Naby Keita and Sadio Mane became the latest players to be targeted.

Championship outfit Swansea, a Premier League club until 2018, have over one million followers on Twitter and a social media reach of three-and-a-half million on their various platforms.

Birmingham became the second EFL club to impose a week-long social media boycott, saying the issue must be tackled together.

Former England manager Sam Allardyce insists the problem of online abuse can only be tackled by football showing unity.

The West Brom boss said: "I would like an accumulation of football clubs across the board to all do it together.

"That would for me be the only way that a difference may be made, if a united front was put up by all 92 professional clubs."

Newcastle manager Steve Bruce, a former Latics chief, says he would ban all social media if he could, and gave his backing to the clubs boycotting platforms over racist abuse.