Paul Heckingbottom delighted football has led the way again as Sheffield United prepare to join social media boycott

Paul Heckingbottom says he is “delighted that football has led the way again” as Sheffield United prepare to join their fellow football clubs in a weekend-long social media boycott to make a stand against online abuse and racism.

Friday, 30th April 2021, 12:40 pm
Updated Friday, 30th April 2021, 2:37 pm

Organisations around football, including The Star, will also join the blackout on social media, which runs from 3pm today to 11.59pm on Monday evening.

United players Rhian Brewster and David McGoldrick have been racially abused on Instagram in recent times, with the latter speaking about his experience on BBC’s Peston show.

And Heckingbottom said: “I’m delighted that football has led the way again, which I think we can be proud of.

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“I’m delighted that a lot of other organisations have joined the cause as well, because that’s the only way we can make a difference. It cannot be right that people behaving in this way in normal walks of life would be prosecuted, yet we provide a platform for them to do it without repercussions. I can’t understand it. Hopefully it’s the start of a change.

“You have to accept some criticism if you’re in the public eye and want an online profile, but there has to be boundaries and if people are behaving in a way that’s unacceptable in everyday life, it should be unacceptable on social media as well.

“Social media can be a breeding ground for that sort of behaviour. It can stimulate debate in a good way, but it also provides a platform for people to say whatever they want. And people can keep getting away with it.”

Blades boss Paul Heckingbottom (Getty)