Football Manager joins clubs and players in social media boycott over online abuse

Football Manager has joined leading football clubs and players in a social media boycott over online abuse.

“Today, we join the EFL and English football in a united stand against online abuse,” reads a tweet from the official Football Manager account.

“Social media companies must do more to #StopOnlineAbuse. Join us and switch off too, as we collectively demand change.”

Miles Jacobson, boss of Football Manager Sports Interactive, said he was also joining the boycott.

“I too will be switching off,” he tweeted.

“There are hundreds of thousands of super intelligent people working across the different social media companies – between them they must be able to come up with solutions to the problems on their platforms.”

The “show of solidarity against online abuse” hopes to encourage companies to take a stronger stance against racist and sexist abuse on their platforms.

The boycott starts at 3pm today, and ends at midnight on Monday.

Clubs from the Premier League, English Football League, Women’s Super League, Scottish Professional Football League and Scottish women’s football are involved, as are governing bodies including the Football Association, Scottish FA, Football Association of Wales and Irish Football Association, and European governing body Uefa.

Crystal Palace winger Andros Townsend told BBC Sport players are “starting to fight back”, adding the boycott will “send a warning to these companies that if you don’t start regulating your platforms, it’s going to be an indefinite blackout”.

Last month, EA issued a lifetime ban to a FIFA player who racially abused Ian Wright after he lost a match while playing with the Arsenal legend’s in-game version.

18-year-old Patrick O’Brien lost a game of FIFA after playing with the Ian Wright icon card in the Ultimate Team mode. The Irish teen then sent real-life Ian Wright awful racist abuse on Instagram, amounting to 20 messages in May 2020.