England, Scotland, Wales rugby join British sport in social media boycott

English football announced last week that it would boycott social media over its treatment of harrassment and abuse towards players. Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images

England Rugby, Scottish Rugby, and Wales Rugby said on Thursday they would join football and other sports' social media blackout this weekend in a show of solidarity against online abuse.

All social media channels run by the Rugby Football Union (RFU), including England Rugby, Premier 15s, Greene King IPA Championship and GB7s will switch off social media accounts from 3 P.M. on Friday to 11.59 P.M. on Monday.

"No professional sportsperson should have to suffer abuse, racism or harassment on social media," Red Roses captain Sarah Hunter said.

"We've all seen how social media can help bring fans and players closer together but this does not mean abuse should be ignored."

Scottish Rugby said the move was supported by both professional clubs, Edinburgh Rugby and Glasgow Warriors, as well as Rugby Players Scotland.

Wales Rugby Union (WRU) said in a statement: "This is a matter that the WRU takes seriously, having shed light on the abuse received by its players in the past -- most recently during this year's Guinness Six Nations campaign.

"We are aware that eradicating online abuse won't happen overnight, but we hope that this weekend's social media boycott will be the first of many steps towards doing so."

On Friday, the French Rugby Federation and PRO14 rugby also announced that they would be joining the boycott this weekend.

The campaign has received backing from Premiership Rugby, English cricket and the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA), as well as broadcasters BT Sport, Sky Sports and talkSPORT.