Prince William faced a backlash from Prince Harry and Meghan Markle fans after he showed support for last week’s four-day football social media boycott to protest the online racist abuse of non-white soccer players.
The social media boycott, which began at 15:00 BST on Friday and ended at 23:59 BST on Monday, was organized by U.K. soccer clubs, their players, and supporters as a “show of solidarity against online abuse.”
Other sporting bodies, including the rugby and cricket league, also joined the boycott intended to confront racist abuse and discrimination on online platforms.
William joined the social media boycott
Prince Wiliam, Duke of Cambridge, also joined the social media boycott. His social media account paused activity between 15:00 BST on Friday and 23:59 BST on Monday.
“As President of the FA, I join the entire football community in the social media boycott this weekend. W,” William tweeted ahead of the start of the boycott.
William, a fan of Aston Villa, had spoken out against racist abuse in football earlier in January, according to Express.
He described the racist harassment of non-white soccer players as “despicable,” and added that sports fans have “a responsibility to create an environment where such abuse is not tolerated, and those who choose to spread hate and division are held accountable for their actions.”
Meghan’s fans accused William of hypocrisy after he joined the boycott
Royal biographer and ABC royal contributor Omid Scobie claimed on HeirPod that some supporters of the Sussexes took to social media to ask why William was willing to speak up about online racist abuse in soccer but refused to support his brother and his wife, Meghan.
“Some people have been commenting online, questioning why the Duke of Cambridge had been silent when Harry and Meghan faced their own issues online,” Scobie said, according to Express. “We will never know the answer to this, but it’s something that will keep coming up as long as William talks about this.”
Meghan alleged media coverage had racial undertones
Meghan claimed, during her interview with Oprah, that she was a victim of negative media coverage that had racial undertones.
The Duchess of Sussex also claimed that members of the Royal Family wanted to deny her son, Archie, of a royal title and security protection because of his mixed race.
Meghan also accused the Royal Family of failing to protect her
During the Oprah interview that aired on CBS in March, Meghan alleged that the Royal Family did not fulfill their promise to protect her from negative media coverage. She alleged that the treatment she received from the tabloids had clear racial undertones when compared with the positive coverage other members of the family received.
According to Meghan, the tone of the media coverage “was bringing out a part of people that was racist.”
Harry also accused the Royals of doing nothing to help stop the “racist” media coverage.
“No one from my family said anything over those three years,” Harry added.
That was not the first time that Harry accused the British media of racism against Meghan. Back in 2016, when he was still dating Meghan, he released a statement slamming the “racial undertones” of the media coverage of Meghan, according to the New York Times.