BHA to Support Social Media Boycott

Emma Berry

In conjunction with the sporting community, the British Horseracing Authority–as well as the Racecourse Association, Horsemen's Group, The Jockey Club and Professional Jockeys Association–will take part in a social media boycott beginning 9p.m. on Friday through 11:59 p.m. Monday, May 3. The action highlights the unchecked social media abuse and racism targeting sporting participants and was initially launched by English football's governing bodies last Saturday, with numerous other sport governing bodies, sponsors, partners, broadcasters and media outlets joining in.

“I am grateful to everyone in the sport who takes part in this boycott to help spread this clear message of solidarity to social media companies and say that enough is enough, and change is needed,” said Julie Harrington, chief executive of the BHA.

All racecourses with meetings this weekend have been informed of the planned support for the boycott, as well as the bodies representing the sport's participants.

The Professional Jockeys Association has co-funded a short film, “The Fall”, which will address social media abuse and its effect on mental health. The film is in post-production and will be released later this year.

PJA Chief Executive Paul Struthers said, “Our members receive vile abuse on a daily basis. We are sick and tired of it and the lack of action by social media companies. We and our members stand shoulder to shoulder with other sports in sending a united message that online hate and discriminatory abuse is totally unacceptable and needs to be eliminated.”

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