EXPLAINER: English soccer leads social media racism boycott

FILE - This Sunday, Sept. 13, 2020 file photo shows the "No Room For Racism" logo on the shirt of Everton's goalkeeper Jordan Pickford during the English Premier League soccer match between Tottenham Hotspur and Everton at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London. Four days of silence across Twitter, Facebook and Instagram by soccer leagues, clubs and players in England was beginning on Friday April 30, 2021, in a protest against racist abuse that has been adopted more widely. (Cath Ivill/Pool via AP, File)
FILE - This Sunday, Sept. 13, 2020 file photo shows the "No Room For Racism" logo on the shirt of Everton's goalkeeper Jordan Pickford during the English Premier League soccer match between Tottenham Hotspur and Everton at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London. Four days of silence across Twitter, Facebook and Instagram by soccer leagues, clubs and players in England was beginning on Friday April 30, 2021, in a protest against racist abuse that has been adopted more widely. (Cath Ivill/Pool via AP, File)

There will be no goal clips, lineup announcements, banter between clubs or even title celebrations.

Four days of silence across Twitter, Facebook and Instagram by soccer leagues, clubs and players in England began on Friday in a protest against racist abuse that has been adopted more widely.

Such is the anger across the game, it means that if Manchester City clinches the Premier League on Sunday it will not celebrate the title on social media.

WHO IS BOYCOTTING?

There was initially a joint boycott announcement by the English Football Association, English Premier League, English Football League, Women’s Super League, Women’s Championship as well as player, manager and referee bodies, anti-discrimination group Kick It Out, and the Women In Football group. Ahead of the boycott which began at 1400 GMT on Friday through 2259 GMT on Monday, other English sports including cricket, rugby, tennis and horse racing said they would fall silent on social media. FIFA, UEFA and the Premier League's British broadcasters also said they wouldn't post online across four days.

Prince William, who is president of the FA, said on the Kensington Palace Twitter account he would be joining the boycott. Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton, who is the only Black driver on the grid, announced he wouldn't post during the Portuguese Grand Prix weekend to help “make a difference for future generations.” The International Tennis Federation joined the boycott in the hope it stops vile abusive messages, including death threats, being sent to players, coaches and officials.

WHY PROTEST?

The English players' union led a move to boycott social media for 24 hours in 2019 — called the “Enough” campaign — to demand tougher action to stop hatred being sent online to their members. It hasn't come, with no zero tolerance. For Facebook-owner Instagram, a racist post isn't enough to get a user immediately suspended.