Ahead of this Saturday's dedicated Kick It Out Matchday, Stevenage Football Club are proud to be supporting Kick It Out’s campaign, Take A Stand, which is calling for action in the fight against discrimination in football...
Through Take A Stand, Kick It Out - football’s equality and inclusion organisation - want to create a culture where individuals take personal responsibility for being part of the change. That includes fans, players, managers, CEOs, stewards, governing bodies, shop assistants and social media organisations – everyone on and off the pitch.
Most football fans will have witnessed some form of discrimination in football – on the terraces, in dressing rooms or on social media – but more needs to be done to move from awareness to action. Take A Stand is both a challenge and an invitation for individuals and organisations to publicly commit to their own pledge. It is also a movement that everyone can play a part in.
It’s time to #TakeAStand against discrimination. It has no place in our game. If you experience or are witness to any incident, you can report it to Kick It Out (https://www.kickitout.org/forms/online-reporting-form)
Stevenage Football Club will #TakeAStand by adding social media abuse into our sanctions policy. Any form of discrimination either on or offline will result in supporters receiving bans from attending matches.
Sanjay Bhandari, Kick It Out Chair, said, “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.”
CEO Alex Tunbridge said, "We will once again be supporting the initiatives of Kick It Out as we do on an annual basis, with a particular focus this year on tackling abuse across social media platforms. As a Club we are committed to tackling all forms of discrimination and believe the addition to our sanctions policy to reflect social media abuse is an important step in achieving this."
Edleen John, The FA’s International, Corporate Affairs and Co-Partner for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Director, said, "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."
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 at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about Take A Stand, visit: www.kickitout.org/take-a-stand
You can also make a pledge by joining the conversation on social media, just use #TakeAStand and tag Kick It Out in your posts.