Gareth Bale has become the latest high-profile football figure to advocate for a social media boycott, piling more pressure on platforms such as Twitter and Instagram to tackle racism.
After Wales’ friendly with Mexico on Saturday, Bale’s teammates Ben Cabango and Rabbi Matondo were racially abused on Instagram.
This follows Thierry Henry recently wiping all of his social media accounts and saying he won’t be returning until ‘the people in power are able to regulate their platforms with the same vigour and ferocity that they currently do when you infringe copyright’.
The Arsenal legend called out the ‘sheer volume of racism, bullying and resulting mental torture’ that takes place over the internet, and England manager.
Bale, who captains his country, told the BBC after the game that he would support a large-scale boycott of social media if the main platforms don’t do more to tackle the abuse that takes place,
The Tottenham star said: “Something needs to happen. I think [it would be good] if everyone came together and decided to boycott social media, to make a statement.
“If everybody did it at once, not just one or two people, and if we did a campaign with a lot of big influential people in sport and other forms of life came off social media to make a statement, then yeah, I think it could help.
“If that was the case, I would be all for that.”
England manager Gareth Southgate has also spoken of his ‘concerns’ about his players opening themselves up to abuse on social media.
Southgate said over the weekend: “If you spoke to every manager in the country, one of their biggest concerns is that after a game in the dressing room players are scrolling through their phone.
“It’s a vulnerable time for people just after they’ve played a game, they are tired, fatigued – and what voice are they listening to?”