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Wrexham AFC joins social media boycott to ‘eradicate online hate’

29 Apr 2021 3 minutes Read
The Racecourse Ground. Photo by Rept0n1x and licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0

Wrexham AFC has joined a social media boycott in order to “eradicate online hate”.

It is joining forces with a host of clubs from a number of leagues, including the Premier League, the EFL, the National League, and the FA Women’s Super League.

The club has blasted “sustained personal abuse online” sent to staff and players on social media channels, as well as the “receive regular discriminatory messages” that are sent for “no other reason than we are a Welsh club”.

It has called on social media companies to do more to tackle the issue.

Wrexham AFC Manager Dean Keates revealed he’s been sent messages from people wishing Covid-19 on his family.

In a statement it has confirmed that it will not be posting to Twitter, Facebook or Instagram from 3pm on Friday April 30 to 11:59pm on Monday May 3.

The statement from Wrexham AFC said: “We understand that, particularly at this time when supporters cannot attend matches, social media is a valuable tool to keep fans in touch with the Football Club, especially on a match day.

“It is consequently not a decision we have taken lightly, but our message to social media companies is clear – more must be done to eradicate online hate.

“Online hate takes many forms, and while we appreciate much of this comes from a tiny minority, there are staff and players at Wrexham AFC who have been subjected to sustained personal abuse online.

“As a club, we also receive regular discriminatory messages on all of our social media channels for no other reason than we are a Welsh club. Often this will be for something as small as the fact our result has affected somebody’s football bets.

“Wrexham AFC are standing together to urge social media companies to do more to eradicate this behaviour.

‘Disappointing’ 

Manager Dean Keates said, “The fact that racism is still being discussed in these times is hugely disappointing.

“We’re talking about something that should have been ended generations ago and should not be considered now.

“Social media companies need to do more to stop online hate, aimed at footballers who are only doing their job.

“Personally, this season I’ve received messages from people wishing Covid and ill health on myself and my family.

“It is not just players and football staff either – other members of club staff and volunteers have received similar messages from people hiding behind anonymous accounts.

“People believe they can conduct themselves in this way online, and the level of abuse aimed at players and staff in football is embarrassing, which is why social media companies must take more responsibility.”

The statement explained how supporters can still follow matches during the boycott.

It said: “Wrexham AFC supporters wishing to follow the club’s coverage of our matches during this social media boycott can do so via our live stream, Mixlr commentary and club website.

“Our home game against Solihull Moors will be live on our InPlayer page, with former player and manager Andy Morrell on co-commentary duty.

“Radio commentary of the match will also be broadcast live and free on Mixlr and we will be providing a live text commentary on our club website too.”

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