Lionel Messi has backed the social media boycott that is currently in play in much of the United Kingdom.
The Barcelona superstar hit 200 million followers on Instagram on Saturday and took the opportunity to send out a rallying call.
“Let’s raise our voices to stop abuse on social media,” said Messi in the post.
The 33-year-old then called on his followers to act as custodians of social media, to ensure that the platforms become a safe and respectful place, absent from racism, abuse and discrimination.
The six-time Ballon d’Or winner would finish by praising the football community in the UK for the boycott.
MESSI STATEMENT IN FULL
I have reached 200 million followers on Instagram, however, because of what is happening today, I am not going to take it as a reason for celebration. Of course I appreciate all the love and support that I always receive from you, but I think the time has come to give importance to all the PEOPLE behind each profile, that we realize that behind each account there is a person, who laughs, cries, enjoys and suffers, human beings with feelings.
Let’s raise our voices to stop abuse on social media. It does not matter if we are anonymous, famous, athletes, referees or followers of a game, even someone outside all this, it does not matter the race, religion, ideology or gender … No one deserves to be mistreated or insulted. We live together seeing and experiencing abuse, increasingly worse in each of the networks, without anyone doing anything to prevent it. We must strongly condemn these hostile attitudes and demand that the companies that run the networks take urgent action against these behaviours.
I would like you, the 200 million people who follow me, to become the 200 million reasons that exist to make the networks a safe and respectful place, where we can share what we want without fear of being insulted. And that insults, racism, abuse and discrimination remain outside of them forever. For you who are part of these networks and who are always with me, I hope you will accompany me and support me in this crusade.
Lionel Messi just reached 200 million followers on Instagram.
Instead of celebrating the landmark, he asked his followers to be the change in the fight against online abuse. pic.twitter.com/ap4slURN7S
— B/R Football (@brfootball) May 1, 2021
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Big hug to all and congratulations to all the football people in the United Kingdom for their idea of putting together the campaign against abuse and discrimination in networks.