We have this week pledged our support for Kick It Out's new campaign encouraging people across the football community to take action in the battle against discrimination.
The FA has partnered with football’s equality and inclusion organisation to launch Take A Stand, which aims to move from awareness to action by creating a culture where individuals take personal responsibility for being part of the change.
Take A Stand is both a challenge and an invitation for individuals and organisations to publicly commit to their own pledge. It is a movement that everyone can play a part in, both on and off the pitch.
We have pledged to Take A Stand by working together across the game to drive meaningful change, through action such as launching the previously-announced Football Leadership Diversity Code later this month, ensuring the game is a safe, fair and enjoyable environment for all.
Edleen John, our international, corporate affairs and co-partner for equality, diversity and inclusion director, says: "We are committed to delivering a game that is free from discrimination and it is important that everybody plays their part in helping to achieve that.
"Take A Stand will give fans and others involved in the game the impetus to support us on this journey and tackle this issue head-on.
"We know that discrimination exists in society and often manifests itself through football, and only by working together across the game to drive meaningful change through action, can we truly ensure the game is a safe and enjoyable environment for all."
Social media companies have also pledged to Take A Stand. Facebook is supporting Take A Stand by launching initiatives focussed on action, and centred on reporting and education. The England national teams will join Derby County and Portsmouth in piloting a new training module with HOPE not Hate to be delivered through clubs’ community and fan engagement programmes.
Facebook is also building a new automated Messenger service for when fans are back in stadiums, enabling people to report matchday discrimination directly to Kick It Out. They will also launch educational resources available to all fans through a WhatsApp messaging service. By adding 07432 140 310 to your WhatsApp contacts and messaging ‘hi’, fans will be sent information on the current anti-discrimination initiatives in UK football, ways to report and changes you can make straight away.
Twitter has also committed to being part of Take A Stand by continuing to support with campaigns and educational initiatives which combat online hate, as well as delivering training sessions with football clubs and police authorities. It will also continue to focus on proactively actioning hateful content, where now more than one in two Tweets are identified and removed without reports.
Sanjay Bhandari, Kick It Out's chair, says: "Our Take A Stand campaign aims to tackle discrimination, but also create a culture where everyone belongs and individuals take personal responsibility for being part of the change.
"We can all do something to Take A Stand against hate and promote a more inclusive society. Our ambition is to turn bystanders into activists and to crowdsource solutions by capturing pledges of individual action.
"We want to use those pledges that we receive from the public and organisations, to turn them into insight and make anti-discrimination strategies better informed by understanding more about what people are doing on the ground.
"We know that social media can be a battleground of hate, which is why we’re working closely with Facebook and Twitter to improve that through looking at better regulation and enforcement, as well as updated and new reporting methods."
You can make a pledge by joining the conversation on social media, just use #TakeAStand and tag @KickItOut in your posts.
For those who would like to make a pledge, either individually or as an organisation, or want more information on how to do this, please contact:
Kick It Out