Stuart Broad would support social media boycott as racist abuse continues online

Stuart Broad

Stuart Broad believes the England cricket team would be willing to “make a stand” against online abuse by joining football’s wave of social media boycotts.

Scottish champions Rangers as well as Championship clubs Swansea and Birmingham are currently on a week-long break as a result of racist attacks on individuals, former Arsenal star Thierry Henry has quit his platforms and Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson handed control of his accounts over to an anti-cyberbullying charity.

Further action in the football community is expected and Stuart Broad would be happy to consider a likeminded response within the England dressing room.

Stuart Broad standing with his teammate

His fellow seamer Jofra Archer reported racially-motivated attacks he had received on Instagram on at least two occasions last year and just last week Moeen Ali, who is not on social media, was named in a highly controversial tweet by author Taslima Nasreen which was widely criticised within the sport.

“There are great positives to social media but if we have to lose those positives for a period time to make a stand then I’d be well up for that,” he told the PA news agency.

“It beggars my belief that someone could write some of the messages to my team-mates that they have to Jofra. If you said some of the stuff people say on social media on the street, it wouldn’t end well would it?

“I think it is definitely worth a conversation, it’s a really strong message. You don’t want a small minority to ruin the opportunities you get through social media but do you need something drastic to stop it or should there be more responsibility with app creators and more liability?”

Broad (left) has been shocked by some of the abuse received by team-mate Jofra Archer (Stu Forster/Pool)
Broad (left) has been shocked by some of the abuse received by team-mate Jofra Archer (right) (Stu Forster/Pool)

Stuart Broad was taking part in NatWest’s CricketForce #GetSetWeekend – a virtual curtain-raiser for the grassroots game – but feels his thoughts would find support at the very highest level.

“We have two strong leaders in Joe Root and Eoin Morgan and we constantly talk about participation, development and what we can do to help different communities love our sport,” he said.

“If there was action it would come from the leaders in our dressing room and if the team felt like change needed to happen we’ve got some really great people above us in the hierarchy, like Ashley Giles and Tom Harrison, that would be very open to what the team’s beliefs were.”

Taking it easy

Broad is easing himself into the county season, which got underway this week, and is tentatively targeting a first outing in Nottinghamshire’s visit to Worcestershire on April 22.

He has a target of three first-class matches before the opening Test of the summer and is eager to get back to business after a winter programme dominated by spin in Sri Lanka and India.

“It was a frustrating time for all the seamers, it felt like a bit-part role,” he said.

“It wasn’t particularly fun as a seam bowler but I’m sure when India’s spinners come to England they don’t find it particularly fun either. As seamers you expect a good workload not one spell of six overs and done.

“I really can’t wait to settle in for 90 overs in the field, a really good spell to work out a batsman and play some traditional cricket. I’m feeling really good, really positive and I’ve been bowling nicely.”