SCOTTISH RUGBY has announced that it will join the football-led sporting boycott of social media this weekend, which aims to highlight and condemn online hate, and to ultimately force Twitter, Instagram and Facebook to tackle racism and discrimination on their platforms.
“We also encourage member clubs to consider following suit,” said a statement issued by the governing body.
The boycott, which will be supported by both of Scotland’s pro teams and Rugby Players Scotland (the association which represents the nation’s professional players), will mean no social media activity from 3pm tomorrow (Friday 30th April) until just before midnight on Monday (3rd May).
The Scottish Rugby, Edinburgh Rugby and Glasgow Warriors websites will remain in action and supporters may still receive digital communications from all three.
“We know rugby excites passion but there is absolutely no place in our game for anyone to peddle hate and abuse online,” said Scottish Rugby Board chairman John Jeffrey.
“Scottish Rugby is open to everyone. We are committed to enhancing inclusion and diversity in our sport and to underline our determination that our social media platforms should be safe and welcoming spaces for all.”
Tim Swinson, Chairman of Rugby Players Scotland, added: “All our members fully support Scottish Rugby in this initiative and in recognising the importance of inclusion and diversity for the development of the sport.”
The boycott was initially announced in a joint statement last Saturday from a range of key stakeholders in English football, including the Premier League, English Football League, FA Women’s Super League, FA Women’s Championship, Professional Footballers’ Association, League Managers Association, the referees’ body PGMOL, anti-racism campaign Kick It Out, Women in Football and the Football Supporters Association. Sponsors and other media companies including Sky Sports and TalkSport are also taking part.
Other sporting bodies to have joined the boycott include Uefa, the England and Wales Cricket Board, the Professional Cricketers’ Association, Premiership Rugby and the Lawn Tennis Association.