Jordan Henderson announced his partnership with Cybersmile, giving the anti-cyberbullying organization its social media accounts in a stance against racist abuse.
The Liverpool captain was absent for Tuesday night’s 3-1 loss to Real Madrid, but he was keenly aware of the abuse targeting his teammates immediately afterwards.
Trent Alexander-Arnold and Naby Keita both suffered racism on social media after the game, prompting Liverpool to issue a statement condemning the abuse online via their official website.
Liverpool’s post was shared by the first team, with Andy Robertson writing on his Instagram story: ‘Same shit, different day.’
It is a situation which is becoming more and more familiar to footballers, who, in the absence of supporters during matches, are increasingly scrutinized and abused by so-called fans on social media.
Given the lack of accountability of the platforms themselves – such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter – action is being taken by players and clubs, with the aim of bringing about change.
Swansea City has announced that they will participate in a week-long ban on their social media channels starting at 5 p.m. Thursday, while Thierry Henry has completely disabled his accounts.
Online abuse must stop. Recently, I’ve been thinking about what I can do as an individual to try to make a difference. I have seen friends, teammates, other footballers and society in general fall victim to horrific online abuse which… 1/4 pic.twitter.com/TLnrYXAzWF
– Jordan Henderson (@JHenderson) April 8, 2021
Henderson posted a series of messages on his Twitter page on Thursday afternoon, confirming he was joining the movement by sharing with Cybersmile.
“Over the past few years, I have seen some of my friends, teammates, other players, people from soccer, soccer, society in general, suffer horrific abuse online,” he explained in an accompanying video.
“And again, I don’t really see much change.
“Again [Tuesday] night some of my teammates have been the victims of racist abuse online after a football game, and for me that is just unacceptable.
“I thought about removing all social media, but I’m not sure who it helps or what it does.
“So I came across Cybersmile, a foundation that educates, supports and advises people who suffer from abuse on social media or bullying online.
“And I’m going to partner with them over the next few weeks, so that they have full control of all my social media channels to basically promote what they do, how to help people.
“So we’ll post some tips, captions, support links out there that people can use, who are in pain.
“I hope this can help a lot of people over the next few weeks – and please, even if you think the problem is minimal, contact us.
“We can definitely help you out, because I know it can be a very dark place on social media at times, no matter how many followers you have.
“Please use it, and I hope it helps a lot of people.”