Cricket will join football’s social media boycott this weekend, the England and Wales Cricket Board have announced.
The four-day period of online silence, initially announced by a coalition of English football’s largest governing bodies and organisations, will run from 3pm on Friday, April 30 to 11:59pm on Monday, May 3, and is aimed to combat abuse and discrimination.
In a joint statement the ECB, Professional Cricketers’ Association said they will stand “shoulder to shoulder with football”, with all 18 first-class counties and the eight women’s regional teams taking part.
Tom Harrison, ECB chief executive officer, said: “As a sport, we are united in our commitment to fight racism and we will not tolerate the kind of discriminatory abuse that has become so prevalent on social media platforms.
“We’re proud to add our voice to all those across sport who are sending the message that more can, and must, be done to eradicate online hate.”
Rob Lynch, PCA chief executive, added: “Social media companies have to do more. Our members are often victims of horrific online abuse with little or no punishment for the perpetrators and this has to change.
“A unified silence from players and the wider game is a powerful stance to show that our members will not allow social media companies, which have brought so much benefit to the game, to continue to ignore and fail to prioritise the need for appropriate legislation in protecting people against online discriminatory behaviour.”
The move follows social media boycotts by Swansea, Birmingham and Rangers in recent weeks, with Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson stating he would be willing to follow Arsenal great Thierry Henry in coming offline altogether in protest against racist behaviour.
The Lawn Tennis Association announced it will also unite with the football community by taking part in the social media boycott.
But the Rugby Football Union has confirmed it is not joining the boycott and neither is golf’s European Tour.
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