Scottish Rugby urges member clubs to join social media boycott

There will be no activity on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and so on from 3pm on Friday until just before midnight on Monday

The Scotland team take the knee before their Six Nations clash against England earlier this month. Image: © Craig Watson -
The Scotland team take the knee before their Six Nations clash against England earlier this month. Image: © Craig Watson -

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).

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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.

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David Barnes
About David Barnes 2349 Articles
David has worked as a freelance rugby journalist since 2004 covering every level of the game in Scotland for publications including The Sunday Times, The Telegraph, The Scotsman/Scotland on Sunday/Evening News, The Herald/Sunday Herald, The Daily Mail/Mail on Sunday and The Sun.


  1. Any social media boycott extending to just over 3 days, while SRU websites remain active during the same (holiday) period, is likely to achieve little or nothing tangible going forward.

  2. I suppose a boycott highlights the issue but highlighting it isn’t really what is wanted. What is wanted is action to stop it and it seems the main social media organisations are unwilling to act so sadly it will be business as usual for the abusers.

  3. i asked SRU to integrate ‘Show Racism the Red Card’ into what our governing body does to educate and help all, many months ago, it seems to me that this stalled at the sru end.
    We as a nation should be in the vanguard of such issues not trailing in behind the good ideas and work of others.
    Great we are joining, but we should be leading and not delaying (pandemic or not) in getting to grips with racism.

    • SRTRC comes across to me as one of the few organisations that even the SRU could reject – with a straight face, to boot – on the basis that it seems a bit “jobs for the boys”.

      Anyway, I applaud the social media boycott.

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