Chelsea star Kovacic causes confusion after setting up Twitter account… in order to boycott Twitter
Chelsea star Mateo Kovacic has caused confusion by appearing to set up a Twitter account simply to announce that he was boycotting social media as part of a protest against racial abuse and discrimination.
The midfielder took to the platform with his newly-established account on Friday, writing that "something needs to change".
"We want social media companies to do more to prevent online discriminatory abuse.
"So we’re joining forces with other teams and organizations to boycott social media until Tuesday 4 May."
Something needs to change. We want social media companies to do more to prevent online discriminatory abuse. So we’re joining forces with other teams and organisations to boycott social media until Tuesday 4 May. #NoToHate#StopOnlineAbuse#NoRoomForRacismpic.twitter.com/fjqb48RCZq— Mateo Kovacic (@mateokovacic8) April 30, 2021
Gaining almost 8,000 followers in less than 24 hours, Kovacic was welcomed by many fans – though some onlookers such as former footballer Stan Collymore poked fun at the move.
"Chelsea's Mateo Kovacic created a Twitter account in order to tell the world that he was boycotting....Twitter," Collymore quipped.
"Night all," he signed off, to caption a GIF of comedian Steve Carell's The Office character Michael Stott making an awkward exit.
Chelsea's Mateo Kovacic created a twitter account in order to tell the world that he was boycotting..Twitter. Night all. pic.twitter.com/OqKcZnKZ4A— Stan Collymore (@StanCollymore) April 30, 2021
Mateo Kovacic’s twitter account highlights pic.twitter.com/2MvRHBmg3I— MoistMatic 🇵🇹 (@_UtdWiII) April 30, 2021
Mateo Kovacic Twitter Highlights 2021 full HD pic.twitter.com/Rz5bwHOxE4— Lux (@CFCLux2) April 30, 2021
Kovacic made the move as part of a broader campaign launched by sporting organizations across the UK for a social media blackout, which began on Friday and lasting until Monday.
The move is aimed at putting pressure on social media companies to take tougher measures to prevent the racist abuse and discrimination dished out to sports stars and others on their platforms.
Some observers, however, have claimed the step is merely performative virtue-signaling which will do little to tackle the deeper issues of racism and discrimination.Also on rt.com ‘Cannot be allowed to continue’: English football announces ‘social media blackout’ to combat online racism
Kovacic's short-lived presence on Twitter has been compared to being subbed on in stoppage time, only for the full whistle to be blown seconds later.
However, coach Thomas Tuchel would probably like his charge to appear in any capacity at all on the pitch, after missing his side's last five matches with a hamstring knock.
Kovacic suffering a tweak in training, the German tactician ruled him out of today's early evening kick off with Fulham in the Premier League, and suggested he is doubtful for a season-defining Champions League semifinal second leg clash with former club Real Madrid on Wednesday.
"He trained with us, but he's still not fully confident, he felt something at the end of training. So he's not available, unfortunately," Tuchel confirmed.
"All the others are available except for Toni Rudiger, who got injured in the last minute of the Madrid game. Everybody else is available.
"Before training today we thought that Kova had a big chance to join us latest for Madrid, maybe even for today.
"So now we have a little setback, not a big one, with him," he concluded.
🔵 Top WS rated Chelsea players under Tuchel (3+ apps): 🥇 Mateo Kovacic - 7.41🥈 Jorginho - 7.40🥉 Cesar Azpilicueta - 7.25🗣️ Tuchel on Kovacic to Fifth Stand App: "I love him. I could wake the guy at 3 at night and he will be at Cobham at 3.15 ready to give everything" pic.twitter.com/VFUtRpKfgj— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) February 16, 2021
As one of the star performers in his outfit, however, who helped transform the midfield and the Blues' fortunes alongside Jorginho when he took over from a fired Frank Lampard, previous remarks would suggest that Kovacic has Tuchel's trust.
"I love him," Tuchel said in February, as Chelsea experienced an impressive unbeaten run on his watch.
"I could wake the guy at 3am and he will be at Cobham at 3.15am ready to give everything, listen and play with full energy.
"I need to calm the guy down in training, so that he's not doing too much.
"He is super-reliable. It's a pleasure to have him," Tuchel insisted.Also on rt.com Water under the Bridge: Chelsea boss Tuchel says ‘no need for Abramovich to apologize to him’ for Super League fiasco