Social media posts from the best UK sports teams and players are nowhere to be found this weekend. Football, rugby, and cricket leagues are boycotting Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter in response to the way these platforms have dealt with online abuse.

The social media blackout begins on Friday at 3:00 p.m. in London and ends on Monday at 11:59 p.m. It is a call on the tech giants to step up their efforts to prevent online discrimination against gamers and the general public.

“We know that a boycott alone will not erase this. So we will continue to take proactive steps to demand change,” the Premier League said in a statement.

“We won’t stop challenging social media companies until discriminatory online abuse is removed from our game and society.”

We will shut down our social media channels from Friday, April 30th, 3:00 p.m. to Monday, May 3, 11:59 p.m. in order to respond to ongoing and ongoing online abuse. # Enough | #StopOnlineAbuse pic.twitter.com/toiIg3FfWW

– Raheem Sterling (@ sterling7) April 30, 2021

English football’s equality and inclusion organization, Kick it Out, said the number of reports of discrimination in professional football rose from 313 to 446 last season.Manchester United announced that online abuse against its players has increased by 350%

Arsenal forward Thierry Henry deleted his social media accounts in late March because of the racist comments directed at black soccer players and he is delighted to see other athletes join him.

“If it [coming off social media] can have a little impact and have an impact … that takes the strength of the pack, ”Henry told CNN. “When I saw it happened recently, I was really happy about it, but I thought of all the people who have been waiting for it for a very long time. It’s a great tool that we talked about, but people sometimes use it as a weapon. “

According to CNBC, Twitter removed more than 7,000 football-related tweets in the UK that broke company rules in less than eight months. The company found that it was only a small fraction of the tweets made about football during that time.

“We accept many suggestions from players and have already made progress, including tougher measures against those who break our rules in DMs,” a Facebook spokesperson told CNBC.

Former France team legend Thierry Henry said he was leaving all social media until the platforms did more to tackle racism and harassment Photo: AFP / Ezequiel BECERRA