'About time' - David McGoldrick applauds Sheffield United joining social media blackout to make a stand against online abuse and racism
David McGoldrick has welcomed this weekend’s social media blackout across football after questioning why racism is still prevalent in the game, when the idea of the Super League was stamped out in a matter of days.
McGoldrick and his United teammate Rhian Brewster have both shared examples of racist messages they have been sent online in recent times, while former Blade Kyle Walker became only the latest high-profile player to be racially abused on Instagram after he helped Manchester City win the League Cup at the weekend.
A number of other examples have led to men and women’s clubs across English football, as well as other organisations connected to the game, commit to a social media boycott this weekend.
“The boycott shows English football coming together to emphasise that social media companies must do more to eradicate online hate,” a United statement read, “while highlighting the importance of educating people in the ongoing fight against discrimination.
“Two Blades players have been targeted over the past 12 months.”
And one of them, fresh from scoring the winner against Brighton and Hove Albion on Saturday evening, applauded the move, adding: “It’s about time.”
“I think something needs to happen,” McGoldrick added.
“We don't want to see that, we don't need it in the game.
When the Super League got announced, it got cut off in 24 or 48 hours because of the response. Why is racism on the back foot? Racism is bigger than the Super League, in my eyes.”
Paul Heckingbottom, McGoldrick’s manager at Bramall Lane, said he was “delighted” about the action, adding that social media users should have to go through some kind of registration process before being allowed to use the services.
McGoldrick, who was abused by an anonymous profile after scoring twice against Chelsea last season, agrees.
“I think there needs to be some sort of regulation where you need to show an ID. It's too easy to make a fake account,” he said.
“A lot of these racist comments are just fake accounts.
You should have to show some sort of ID, a driving licence or passport, because it's too easy to set up a fake account these days. And it affects people.
“That has got to done, because if it's not it's going to be the same in a years time. We've got to put our foot down and something has got happen.
“Because it's 2021 and we're still getting racially abused online.”
United’s Facebook, Instagram and Twitter profiles, as well as their TikTok and Snapchat accounts, will fall silent between 3pm this Friday and 11.59pm on Monday, May 3.
“We don’t know yet what it will achieve.” Heckingbottom added. “But the first thing, and the important thing, is that it shows people aren’t happy about the situation.
“What happens gets flagged up and then nobody really does anything about it. The platforms just seem to turn a blind eye.
“It doesn’t just affect those who are targeted. It hurts families and friends too. It’s unacceptable these cowards, because that’s what the people who do it are, can get away with it.”