Matlock Town to join social media boycott in protest at growing online racism

Matlock Town have thrown their weight behind football’s social media shutdown campaign by suspending their social media accounts over the May Day bank holiday weekend.

Wednesday, 28th April 2021, 7:41 am
Chairman Bryn Apperley said it was time for football to unite against racism.
Chairman Bryn Apperley said it was time for football to unite against racism.

The Gladiators’ facebook and twitter accounts will be closed from 3 pm on Friday 1 May until 23.59 hours on Monday 4 May in line with an announcement made last weekend by the various football authorities in what is intended to be a united front against social media abuse.

Both Matlock Chairman Bryn Apperley and manager Paul Phillips have had their say with the Gladiators being fully supportive of the boycott initiative.

“It’s time for football clubs to stand together in the fight against abuse of all kinds,” said Mr Apperley.

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“There should be no place for this in our game and social media outlets should be brought to book as long as they allow it to continue.

"As a club we wholeheartedly support any move to stamp out this abuse from our game.”

Phillips backed the chairman’s view and said a message needed to be sent.

“It’s a good idea for we have to stop it but come Monday all of the racists and those people sending these messages will be back out again,” he said.

"They are faceless and downright horrible. When you open a social media account it should be like a passport so you are easily identifiable so that you’re held accountable.

"I’ve had the abuse myself earlier in my career, these people think they can insult you.

"Obviously racism is high up on the list, we’ve got black lads in our team, our opponents and I’ve got black lads as good friends, but there’s other issues as well.

"To think it’s 2021 and we’re having issues like this is totally unacceptable.”

Phillips also says that the social media companies need to take some responsibility in ending online abuse.

“It’s down to the social media companies to take some action,” he added. “It’s farcical. they have to stop it.

"Everyone should join in, the boycott’s a good thing but it’s a small gesture when we need a big gesture.

"I doubt it’ll ever stop, these people use social media as a way out, they’re faceless and the saddest of people.”