Micah Richards believes the current social media boycott of many within English football will prove to be a good start in the fight to tackle online abuse.
Clubs, players and sporting bodies are among those taking part until Monday night as a show of solidarity against the online abuse suffered by so many in the public eye.
When he was asked why the boycott was a positive, Richards hoped that shining a light on the issue can only prove to be a good thing.
Micah Richards hopes football’s social media boycott will help shine a light on level of abuse
Marcus Rashford is among those to take part in the four-day silence and call for more action
‘Just because it can make a difference, it’s making a stand,’ Richards told SkySports.
‘I wouldn’t be against someone who didn’t want to do it. But I had a good friend of mine who started punditry at the same time, Karen Carney, and she said some comments online during broadcasting and then the abuse that she got afterwards was soul destroying, knowing how hard actually she works.
‘Being a women in a man’s game, knowing so much about it, and if someone doesn’t like you that’s fine, but to abuse someone and take it personally, that is so wrong. I don’t understand, do people get a kick out of this?
‘And then there’s the racism, it’s getting too much now and these social media platforms need to do more.
Richards highlighted the abuse Karen Carney was subjected to online earlier this season
‘Is this the answer going off for three of four days? Probably not, but it’s a start somewhere. Putting light on it is a good thing and a good start in my opinion.
‘The education is key, but a lot of people talk about education and that’s fine. But you’ve got to want to learn as well.’
Many have urged social media companies to do more when it comes to policing accounts that are responsible for abuse, such as implementing more effective verification methods to prevent the anonymous nature of many attacks.
While Gary Neville agreed those companies must do more, the former Manchester United man believes authorities within the sport must also look at what more they can do.
‘I’m not sure what’s really going to change this weekend through the social media boycott, but the positive out of it is that the whole of the game seems to have come together,’ Neville said.
Gary Neville called for sport’s authorities to do more and put education programmes in place
‘I’m a little frustrated we’re still talking about the start of something. Where is the education and where are the consequences?
‘The governing bodies of the game have come together this weekend to boycott social media. But what have they done? What have they done to deter people from racism within English football.
‘I was here a good few years ago with Patrice Evra going through his situation with Luis Suarez and I don’t the game dealt with it particularly well then, and I don’t think the game has moved forward that much since.
‘We highlight it more, campaign more, collaborate more, so I’m positive about that, but where is the deterrent in respect of English football authorities on racism and where is the education that should be in place for every single footballer, broadcaster, member of staff in a football club?
‘Put education programs in place, put some of the money that goes into the game into funding education, and put consequences in place that means there is a deterrent so that the game looks like it’s treating it seriously.
‘As well as obviously focusing outwards onto social media outlets, who need to be looked at as well, but the game has got a job to do on the inside.’
Neville suggested little progress has been made since Luis Suarez and Patrice Evra incident