Oxford United will join football’s Social Media Boycott later today as the game unites against online abuse.
The official Twitter, Facebook and Instagram channels will be silent from 3pm today until midnight on Monday as will those of the club’s Academy, Community, Women’s team, Walking football teams, and all staff and players.
Club Captain John Mousinho explained that the players are fully behind the boycott:
“The first steps had already been taken and some very high profile sports people have already highlighted the amount of abuse they receive online but I think we are becoming more and more aware of the issue, not just abuse on social media but throughout the game. This is the next step. It won’t solve the problem, there will still be discrimination and abuse online but it will alert the social media companies that we are taking this seriously.
“I’m no IT expert but there are certain words which if they pop up you would have MI5 round your door inside five minutes so surely with the technology and power of those companies there must be a way to filter things out? But that is only half the problem. Stopping it being seen would be great but actually it’s a deeper problem and we have to try and stop the abuse at source; not preventing people seeing it, preventing people wanting to abuse and discriminate in the first place. That is a much larger piece and much more important than anything we do short term.”
We will have full details of the Boycott later in the day but we couldn't talk to John without checking on his progress after injury. It seems there is light at the end of the tunnel for the defender:
“I’m back out there running every day but I won’t be featuring in the next couple of games! It was an ACL injury which is stable now but it is straight line work at the moment and a long way from being able to compete in a match.
“There is a long way to go before full contact training because you don’t want to push it too early and suffer another tear. But I’m hopefully not too far off now.”
Never one to rest on his laurels, ‘Mous’ now has another project to add to his rehab and coaching work:
“I’m working hard every day on the training ground and I have stuff going on with the PFA but Matty Taylor and I have finally taken the plunge and set up a multi-sports coaching company too!
“We tried it at Heyford School in half term and that sold out so we are going to do another four day one at the Training Ground where the facilities are great. It helps the local community, and we can have a bit of fun and coach kids in a variety of sports. We have had good feedback so far and hopefully that becomes something we develop in the future across Oxfordshire.”