Gareth Southgate worries about players eagerness to check social media after games


Premier League coaches fear for young players due to their eagnerness to check social media accounts straight after games, reveals England boss Gareth Southgate… but he won’t try to persuade his stars off platforms

  • Gareth Southgate worries about his players eagerness to check social media
  • It is due to the toxic environment of abuse and racism that exists on platforms
  • Southgate says that players are ‘vulnerable’ after playing as they are fatigued
  • But he won’t persuade players to quit in the wake of Thierry Henry’s decision 

England manager Gareth Southgate has revealed that Premier League coaches fear for their young players and their eagerness to check social media accounts immediately after games, given the toxic environment of abuse and racism that exists on platforms such as Twitter and Instagram.

But he won’t attempt to persuade players off social media in the wake of Thierry Henry’s decision to delete his accounts to protest at the weak response of companies such as Facebook, who own Instagram, and Twitter in confronting racism online.

The England manager, who enjoyed his team connecting with fans on social media during the 2018 World Cup, said: ‘If you spoke to every manager in the country, one of their biggest concerns is that after a game in the dressing room, players are scrolling through their phone. It’s a vulnerable time for people just after they’ve played a game. They are tired, fatigued and what voice are they listening to?

Gareth Southgate worries about his players eagerness to check social media after games

‘It seems companies in charge don’t seem to be controlling it at the moment, so I totally understand why people would choose to come off the platforms. [But] I don’t think you can make or force people into a decision. You can discuss it, and they have the maturity to make their own decisions. 

‘These boys have to live their lives and go their own path even if that [coming off] would be helpful at times and you see that from far. It’s got to be their journey through life and they have the right to make those calls.’

Southgate says players are vulnerable after games and that he worries about them receiving vile messages like those that had been sent to Jude Belling after playing for Dortmund

Southgate says players are vulnerable after games and that he worries about them receiving vile messages like those that had been sent to Jude Belling after playing for Dortmund

But he won’t try to persuade players off social media in the wake of Thierry Henry’s decision

But he won’t try to persuade players off social media in the wake of Thierry Henry’s decision

Marcus Rashford has used his social media presence to force the Government into two separate U-turns over free schools meals and the likes of Kyle Walker and Harry Maguire were prominent in connecting with fans at Russia 2018 via Twitter.

But after the slew of abuse and racism in recent years, it is clearly an issue that is causing clubs greater concern.

‘It’s something, absolutely, for our players to consider. It’s something for all players, all high-profile people, who might receive that negative attention, to think about. It’s not just high-profile people, either. There will be young kids who are getting bullied online. That’s something everyone has to think about – do you want to put yourself in that position and situation.

Marcus Rashford has used his social media presence for good by forcing the Government into two separate U-turns over free schools meals

Marcus Rashford has used his social media presence for good by forcing the Government into two separate U-turns over free schools meals

The England football star Marcus Rashford and his mother even visited a food charity after MPs voted down his plan to provide free school meals during the holidays

The England football star Marcus Rashford and his mother even visited a food charity after MPs voted down his plan to provide free school meals during the holidays

‘I made a conscious decision to come off social media when I took the Under 21 job. I didn’t think it would be the right platform and didn’t want to read the sort of messages I knew would be landing in my box.

‘Similarly, when I‘m in camp, I try to switch off all the media, which is not great for keeping up with what’s going on in the world. But the world is a happier place if I’m not seeing that negativity.

‘From a performance perspective, I don’t see a huge positive in a lot of that interaction but, equally, there are connections with fans and the public, which have been really important for the growth of our team. So, it’s a really difficult balance as well.’

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