Allardyce calls for mass boycott of social media

Soccer Football - Premier League - West Bromwich Albion v Newcastle United - The Hawthorns, West Bromwich, Britain - March 7, 2021 West Bromwich Albion manager Sam Allardyce Pool via REUTERS/Michael Steele

(Reuters) - West Bromwich Albion manager Sam Allardyce said only a mass boycott of social media by all of England's top professional clubs will make a difference in the fight against online racist abuse.

Allardyce's comments come after Scottish champions Rangers and English second-tier side Swansea City said on Tuesday they will boycott social media for a week after several players from both teams were racially abused.

"I would like an accumulation of football clubs across the board to all do it together," Allardyce said.

"That, for me, would be the only way a difference might be made.

"If a united front was put up by all 92 professional clubs... But if that meant losing revenue, the money may override that, unfortunately, because a lot of people are in a lot of trouble (financially)."

West Brom's Callum Robinson and Romaine Sawyers are among Premier League players who have been racially abused on social media. Manchester United's Axel Tuanzebe, Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial were all targeted in recent months.

With English soccer bodies piling pressure on social media companies to tackle the issue, Instagram has announced measures and Twitter vowed to continue its efforts after taking action on more than 700 cases of abuse related to soccer in Britain in 2019.

Former Arsenal and France striker Thierry Henry deleted his social media accounts last month to protest against platforms for not taking action against anonymous account holders who are guilty of racism and bullying online.

(Reporting by Manasi Pathak in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford)

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