Simon Jordan has backed Swansea City’s move to have a seven-day sabbatical from posting content on their social media channels in an attempt to tackle online abuse and discrimination.
Three Swansea players – Yan Dhanda, Ben Cabango and Jamal Lowe – have been racially abused on social media recently and the Championship club has declared ‘enough is enough’ by making a strong stand.
Liverpool trio Trent Alexander-Arnold, Naby Keita and Sadio Mane became the latest in a long list of players to be targeted on social media after Tuesday’s Champions League quarter-final first-leg loss to Real Madrid.
The Premier League champions called for ‘the strongest possible preventative measures’ to be taken over the matter and Swansea have written to Twitter and Facebook urging the introduction of tougher policing and punishments for those found guilty of sending online abuse.
Swansea said in a statement: “From 5pm today all first-team players, those in the academy professional phase (under-23s and under-18s), Swansea City Ladies, Community Trust, senior club staff and official club channels (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Snapchat, YouTube and TikTok) will not post any content for a period of seven days.
“As a football club, we have seen several of our players subjected to abhorrent abuse in the past seven weeks alone, and we feel it is right to take a stand against behaviour that is a blight on our sport, and society at large.
“We will always be unwavering in our support of our players, staff, supporters and the community that we proudly represent, and we are united as a club on this issue.
“We also want to stand with players from other clubs who have had to endure vile discrimination on social media platforms.
“As a club we are also acutely aware of how social media can impact on the mental health of players and staff, and we hope our strong stance will highlight the wider effects of abuse.
“Additionally, chief executive Julian Winter has sent a letter to Twitter CEO, Jack Dorsey, and Facebook’s Founder, Chairman and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg to reiterate the club’s stance and desire to see social media companies introduce more stringent policing and punishments for those guilty of the appalling and cowardly abuse that has sadly become far too common.”
And speaking on Thursday’s White & Jordan show, the former Crystal Palace owner hailed the Swans’ approach, saying: “No-one needs social media. We choose to have social media.
“Obviously it’s a seven-day window so people will question the length of it.
“What’s important is keeping the news in the media, so if you keep doubling down and Swansea do it, and then with due respect to Swansea a Manchester United come out and do it, then you get this momentum going.”
He continued: “If you keep it in the media then you might get some of these changes, from direct messaging being removed from being from people who can’t help themselves with their outbursts.
“And also you might get anonymity starting to be more challenged. It’s football throwing it’s weight behind and showing the courage of their convictions.
“The problem is when you say seven days you put yourself back into the same space, but you’re keeping the noise and the news cycle around social media going.
“It’s better than doing nothing. It creates the effect of keeping people focused on the fact that social media is operating in a way that is unpalliable.”
Birmingham announced they’d be standing in solidarity with Swansea, announcing their boycott from 6pm on Thursday.
Meanwhile, Scottish champions Rangers announced they’d be boycotting social media from 7pm.