Regional sports broadcasters SportsMax has thrown its support behind the social media blackout campaign, geared towards raising awareness of the need to combat the presence of rampant racism and hate speech online.

The issue has been a sore spot for fans and players around the world in recent years, with players often facing death threats and racial abuse on various social media platforms, particularly after strong or disappointing performances.

Last month, two Jamaica internationals, Jamal Lowe of Swansea and Reading’s Liam Moore were subject to racial abuse online.  Swansea, in support of the player, announced a weeklong boycott of social media platforms with Championship rivals Birmingham City and Scottish champions Rangers following their lead.  The initiative has since gained steam with others announcing similar decisions.  The companies full statement is listed below.

 

SportsMax makes a bold move to join governing bodies across the United Kingdom and other organizations including the FA, Premier League, EFL, FA Women's Super League, FA Women's Championship, Professional Footballers' Association (PFA), Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL), The Scottish FA, Scottish Professional Football League, Scottish Women's Football among others and fellow sports broadcasters in an initiative to combat widespread abuse and discrimination by not posting on social media this weekend, the suspension is scheduled from 3 pm on Friday, April 30 to 11:59 pm on Monday, May 3.

 SportsMax will not post any sports content to its social media platforms; Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube for the duration of the boycott period but instead followers will see a slate encouraging acceptance and inclusiveness for all.

 “As the leading sports channel for topflight international sports in the Caribbean, SportsMax is not naïve to the vitriolic tone that some people use, especially on social media where they can hide behind anonymity and spew abuse without fear of accountability. We want to let it be known that this is not ok and it will not be tolerated, we stand with the UK sporting fraternity and all who will participate this weekend.” SportsMax CEO, Oliver McIntosh said.

 Sports fans can still get all their sports news, updates, and of course live action all weekend long on the SportsMax channels and the SportsMax App and website (www.sportsmax.com).

 We invite the various sporting fraternities, organizations, corporate entities, and sports fans around the Caribbean to join us as we unite and take a stance to make a difference and be the change we wish to see.

 

 

Jamaica Prime Minister Andrew Holness has indicated that more local sports could soon resume on the island, after a series of meetings that prompted a change of heart from the government.

So far, in the wake of the pandemic, only a series of selected sports have resumed with horse racing and selected track meets listed among them.  In the main, however, the majority of sports have remained shuttered since around last May, as part of efforts to control the spread of the deadly coronavirus.

Among the more popular sports yet to resume are the National Premier League and the majority of high school competitions, which encompasses popular competitions like the Manning and daCosta Cups.  Holness, however, believes that while things will not necessarily return to normal, there is now a very likely way forward.

“Prior to now, the policy was not to allow sporting events,” Holness told parliament on Tuesday.

“We contemplated this over two days.  We had our COVID meeting on Friday and again on Monday and the decision is that sporting events can be allowed under conditions,” he added.

“The minister of local government, the minister of sports, the minister of public health will in due course explain what these details are.”

The Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) and Ministry of Health and Wellness have been locked in negotiations for weeks regarding the return of the premier league.

 

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