Footballers in England boycotting social media in a protest against racism were targeted with abuse about the 24-hour campaign. Talks with the social media companies are now being urgently sought by the Professional Footballers Association, which coordinated the 'Enough' campaign to demand a crackdown on racism by the platforms. There was silence on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram from many players from 0800 GMT Friday for 24 hours. 'Yesterday, some members received racist abuse on their #Enough posts. When these incidents were reported, the response from social networks was — again — unacceptable,' the PFA said in a statement to The Associated Press. 'In the coming days, we will be inviting players to report any racist abuse they have received to us. We will collate it and share it with social platforms to demonstrate the impact of their lack of action.' Social media companies did not appear to respond on their networks to the players' concerns despite widespread coverage and support from FIFA for the boycott. 'We will be requesting meetings with each of the social platforms as a matter of priority,' the PFA said. 'Meetings with the Football Association and government are planned for next month. This is a first step in a larger player-led campaign to tackle racism and demand meaningful change.' The boycott was led by Tottenham defender Danny Rose, who was targeted with monkey noises while playing for England in Montenegro last month, and Manchester United defender Chris Smalling, who called for more stringent regulation of posts on social media. ___ More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/apf-Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
The Philadelphia Flyers have followed the lead of the New York Yankees, halting singer Kate Smith’s recording of “God Bless America” after an allegation of potential racism in her music, WPVI reported. >> Read more trending news The team also covered a bronze statue of the singer, who died in 1986, that stands outside the Wells Fargo Center, the The Philadelphia Inquirer reported. In a statement, the Flyers said, 'We have recently become aware that several songs performed by Kate Smith contain offensive lyrics that do not reflect our values as an organization. As we continue to look into this serious matter, we are removing Kate Smith's recording of 'God Bless America' from our library and covering up the statue that stands outside of our arena.' >> ‘Pick a Bale of Cotton’ dropped from Iowa junior high concert program On Thursday, the Yankees suspended the use of Smith’s recorded version of the song, which the team has used during the seventh-inning stretch since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, WPVI reported. At issue are two songs. In 1939, Smith recorded “That’s Why Darkies Were Born.” The song debuted in the 1931 Broadway revue, “George White’s Scandals,” and was considered satire, WPVI reported. The song, written by Ray Henderson and Lew Brown, was also recorded by Paul Robeson, who is black, the television station reported. The song includes the lyrics, “Someone had to pick the cotton,” the Inquirer reported. In the 1933 film “Hello, Everybody!” Smith sang “Pickaninny Heaven,” which directs “colored children” living in an orphanage to dream about a place with “great big watermelons,” the newspaper reported. The Flyers have been using Smith’s version of “God Bless America” since 1969, and “the Songbird of the South” sang the song live at the Spectrum when the Flyers played in the 1974 Stanley Cup Finals. The statue of Smith was dedicated outside the Spectrum on Oct. 8, 1987, WPVI reported.