Crystal Palace winger Andros Townsend has praised Swansea City’s social media stance in the battle against racism.
What have Swansea decided to do?
On Thursday afternoon, the Welsh club announced that they have taken a club-wide stance against racism.
“From 5pm today (April 8) all first-team players, those in the academy professional phase (under-23s and under-18s), Swansea City Ladies, our Community Trust, senior club staff and official club channels (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, TikTok and Snapchat) will not post any content for a period of seven days,” the club shared on their website.
The club cited that they have seen several of their players receive abhorrent abuse in recent weeks and believe they need to take a stand against such behaviour.
What else are Swansea doing to combat racial abuse on social media?
Swansea are hoping that this hiatus from social media will emphasise the club’s message that “enough is enough”.
The club also shared that Julian Winter, Swansea’s chief executive, has sent a letter to Twitter’s CEO Jack Dorsey and Facebook’s founder Mark Zuckerburg.
This letter outlines the club’s stance and how they would like social media companies to introduce stricter policing, as well as stronger punishments for those that commit vile acts of abuse online.
How did Townsend respond?
The Palace man was clearly impressed with Swansea’s recent stand.
Townsend quote tweeted the Swans’ initial tweet and shared a message of support with a clapping hands emoji.
When a fan questioned the impact of Swansea’s stance, he replied by saying: “Agreed, but it only takes one club to get the ball rolling.”
In March 2020, Townsend was on the receiving end of abuse, as an Everton fan hurled racial insults at the winger taking a corner at Selhurst Park. According to the Evening Standard, the fan was arrested and later given a three-year ban from attending games.
It’s about time
It’s incredibly encouraging to see that a football club has realised that, put simply, some things are more important than football.
In the past year, a number of players from varying teams – such as Manchester United star Fred – have endured disgusting abuse from cowards sitting behind a screen and a fake persona.
Not only is it amazing to see that Swansea are temporarily removing themselves from the social sphere to send a message, but they are also taking their concerns to the very top.
To truly stamp racism about football, I hope a handful of clubs can follow in Swansea’s direction.