The EFL has today launched its ‘Together Against Racism’ initiative which renews appeals to football supporters to report any incidents of racism and discrimination they see or hear in stadiums and online.
Clubs will also showcase the work that is being undertaken up and down the country to promote inclusion and make Clubs representative of the communities in which they are located.
With support from anti-discrimination charity, Kick It Out, the campaign sees a focused drive from the EFL and its Clubs to combat racism and all forms of discrimination in football.
Across four weekends in October, every EFL Club will run a ‘Together Against Racism’ matchday reminding fans how they can report abuse, so that football and law enforcement authorities can ensure that there are consequences for abusers, while victims get the support they need. Sutton United's will be at the game against Morecambe on Saturday 21 October.
Tackling discriminatory abuse is a key part of the football-wide Love Football Protect the Game initiative which aims to combat all dangerous and illegal behaviour at football grounds across the country.
Building on English football’s shared commitment on equality, discrimination and inclusion, ‘Together Against Racism’ will run concurrently alongside the Premier League’s ‘No Room for Racism’ and the FA’s ‘Enough is Enough’ campaigns throughout October, highlighting the collective approach that is being taken at all levels of the game.
Trevor Birch, Chief Executive of the the EFL, said:
“Football has a platform to effect positive change across society, so we are proud to be collaborating with partners across the game to ensure a welcoming environment for everyone.
“Our clubs are working hard to stamp out unwelcome behaviour from football and via the many measures the game has introduced in recent years we will continue to support them as we look to make the EFL truly representative of the communities we represent.”
The Together Against Racism campaign launch has been supported by former Reading midfielder and Jamaican international Jobi McAnuff who narrated a video on how to report discrimination, and that can be seen in the EFL website article here.
“While incidents do get reported we also know that there are likely more that don’t. This campaign is about breaking down the barriers to reporting, educating supporters on why it is so important and the methods which are available to them to do so.
“While Football has strived to make progress, there is still much to be done. I’m proud to be involved and playing a small part in raising awareness of measures that can help combat racism, abuse and all forms of discrimination.”
Tony Burnett, Kick It Out CEO, said:
“Kick It Out joins the EFL in urging fans and participants to report discrimination when they see it or hear it. Our research suggests that fans are becoming less tolerant of this behaviour, but we know that many more incidents are still going unreported. This month, and throughout the season, we encourage fans and participants to reach out to Kick It Out when they witness or experience abuse via our app, website or our social media channels.
“We welcome the governing bodies commitment to use their upcoming awareness and anti-discrimination initiatives as a springboard for further collaboration in this space, which we think should look to focus on sharing best practice around reporting procedures and agreeing further steps to make the game more inclusive. Those actions will help to make the game safer and more welcoming for all.”