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As football's social media boycott begins, Henry says it's only the start in fight against racism

A number of organisations and clubs will log off for the weekend from 3pm today.

There will be a blackout on major social media platforms.
There will be a blackout on major social media platforms.
Image: PA

THIERRY HENRY HAS called football’s social media boycott this weekend a “start” in the fight against racism and discrimination.

But the former Arsenal striker wants supporters to channel the same energy into combatting abuse as they did when they stood up to the proposed European Super League last week.

A coalition of English football’s largest governing bodies and organisations, including the Football Association, Premier League and EFL, are to go silent on social media in a show of solidarity against racism.

The FA Women’s Super League, FA Women’s Championship, Professional Footballers’ Association, League Managers’ Association, PGMOL, Kick It Out, Women in Football and the Football Supporters’ Association will also suspend all use of their accounts from 3pm on Friday until 11.59pm on Monday.

Last month Henry removed himself from social media because of racism and bullying across the platforms.

The 43-year-old told CNN Sport: “A lot of people are – I’m not saying waking up because everyone was aware of it – but now they’re loud about it and the same energy that they put with the Super League.

“It looks like we’re getting brave into trying to make those big companies answer to the question that we have, and I know it’s not easy also on their side, but that’s your job.

(What) the world of English football is doing at the minute and what’s going to happen at the weekend, people ask me, ‘Is it enough, the weekend?’

“And I’m like, ‘It’s a start’. You know, you can’t be too greedy from not having anything to that. It’s a start.

“But yes, we have a voice, we have a voice all together. We can actually make people aware of our disapproval and hope that things can change. If you don’t do anything, nothing would ever change.

“Maybe not this year, maybe not in two years, maybe not in three years. Maybe we might not see it, but you have to do something while you are passing by.”

Since it was first announced, the boycott has grown as other sport governing bodies, sponsors, partners, broadcasters and media outlets have come on board.

European governing body Uefa will take part, as well as the Irish FA, Scottish football, England Rugby, Scottish Rugby, British Cycling, the Rugby Football League, British Horseracing, the England and Wales Cricket Board, the Lawn Tennis Association and others.

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Although Formula One will not take part following discussions, Lewis Hamilton is also ready to join the boycott on the weekend of the Portuguese Grand Prix.

The seven-time world champion, who has 22million followers on Instagram and more than six million on Twitter, said: “I am fully supportive of the initiative.

“If me doing it helps put pressure on those platforms in order to help fight against it then, for sure, I am happy to do so.”

Formula One has issued a statement supporting the boycott, saying: “We continue to work with all platforms and our own audiences to promote respect and positive values and put a stop to racism.”

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