Swansea announced a social media boycott from 5pm UK time on Thursday for seven days in a stand against online abuse of footballers everywhere.
Later on Thursday, fellow Championship club Birmingham City announced they would stand in solidarity with Swansea by joining them in boycotting social media for seven days.
"The club stands in solidarity with Swansea City Football Club who first announced their intention to operate a social media blackout earlier today," Birmingham said in a statement.
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With this fight going beyond sporting rivalries and one that must be tackled in unison.
Yan Dhanda, Ben Cabango and Jamal Lowe have all been targets of vile comments in the past few months, with the Championship calling the remarks “abhorrent” and a “blight on our sport, and society at large”.
A number of players across the Premier League, Championship and Scottish Premiership have received discriminatory messages since the turn of the year, with clubs calling for social media companies to clamp down on the issue.
The blackout will cover all first-team players from the men’s and women’s sides, the academy and senior club staff, with no activity for matches against Millwall and Sheffield Wednesday. It will end on Thursday 15 April at 5pm.
A statement says Swansea want to take a stand “with players from other clubs who have had to endure vile discrimination” as well as their own, adding that the incidents can impact the mental health of those involved.
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A letter has been sent to the heads of Facebook (which also owns Instagram) and Twitter, urging the companies to do more to introduce “stringent policing and punishments for those guilty of the appalling and cowardly abuse that has sadly become too common”.
Swansea have also called on other clubs to support their stance, saying it would welcome the chance to “work together in this important cause”.
“As a close and diverse group of players, this is something we all feel extremely passionate about,” said Swansea captain Matt Grimes.
“Three of our squad have been racially abused in recent weeks and, as a squad and club, we wanted to take this stance as we again call on those at the forefront of social media companies to implement the change that is needed now and in the future.
I find it staggering that we are still talking about racism and abuse of this kind. We are acutely aware of the pressures within football at this level, but it shouldn’t be underestimated as to how such levels of abuse can affect someone.
“Social media has provided so many positives over the last decade, however, the sickening and vile abuse that we are seeing on a daily and weekly basis is wholly unacceptable, and we hope that this stance across the club will be supported by everyone.
“We are a family, and we will always stand shoulder to shoulder with each other, whether that’s on the pitch or helping to fight injustice off it.”
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