Barclays will join the planned social media boycott by football players, clubs and organisations this weekend.
A coalition of English football’s largest governing bodies and organisations including the Football Association, Premier League and EFL will go silent on social media in a show of solidarity against racism.
The FA Women’s Super League, FA Women’s Championship, Professional Footballers’ Association, League Managers Association, PGMOL, Kick It Out, Women in Football and the Football Supporters’ Association will also suspend all use of their social media accounts from 3pm on Friday April 30 until 11.59pm on Monday May 3.
Barclays is the title sponsor of the WSL and the official bank of the Premier League and will support the blackout.
There will no social media posts on the Barclays Football pages of Facebook and Instagram nor the Barclays Footy Twitter account – while the company’s other social channels will avoid all football-related activity.
Online car retailer Cazoo – shirt sponsors of Aston Villa and Everton – became the first major football sponsor to announce their support with others expected to follow suit.
“In solidarity with our partners and as a stand against totally unacceptable abuse which we condemn in the strongest terms, Cazoo will be joining this boycott of social media over this period,” a Cazoo spokesperson told the PA news agency.
The move follows social media blackouts by Swansea, Birmingham and Rangers in recent weeks, with Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson stating he would be willing to follow Arsenal great Thierry Henry in coming offline altogether in protest against racist behaviour.
The PA news agency understands Sky Sports, who are partnered with anti-discrimination body Kick It Out, are supportive of the social media blackout.
The boycott could also be embraced by other sports, with the Lawn Tennis Association confirming its involvement on Monday.
But the Rugby Football Union has confirmed it is not joining the boycott and neither is golf’s European Tour.
Speaking ahead of the announced blackout, England cricketer Stuart Broad said he would welcome any such action.
“There are great positives to social media but, if we have to lose those positives for a period of time to make a stand, then I’d be well up for that,” he told the PA news agency.
“I think it is definitely worth a conversation, it’s a really strong message.
“You don’t want a small minority to ruin the opportunities you get through social media, but do you need something drastic to stop it or should there be more responsibility with app creators and more liability?”