Derby County and Portsmouth FC will partner with Kick It Out and Facebook to launch a programme that will deliver anti-discrimination education directly to fans, focusing on local schools, young people and supporter groups.
The programme aims to de-normalise low level discriminatory language and empower silent bystanders to callout discrimination wherever they see it.
The pilot programme, created by HOPE Not Hate, a Charitable Trust that works in the UK to build communities and celebrate shared identities, will be delivered initially through community and fan initiatives, the England national teams, Derby County and Portsmouth FC.
The ambition is to roll the programme out more broadly, reaching millions of fans over the next few years.
Simon Carnall, Head of Community at Derby County, said: “We are incredibly proud to be part of a multicultural community here in Derby, and as a Club commit to tackling discrimination in all its forms. Individually we all have a responsibility to call out this behaviour when we see or experience it, but done collectively, can hopefully contribute to change. That’s why we are excited to be part of this programme, to help give fans of all ages the ability to take a stand.”
Clare Martin, CEO of Pompey in the Community (PitC), said: “Portsmouth Football Club is a central part of our city and its community. It’s vital that everyone feels safe and welcome at Fratton Park. This programme will help give everyone a voice and help us all to be part of the change. Together we all must Take a Stand against discrimination and hate to create an environment where everyone feels valued.”
The activity is part of Take A Stand, a new Kick It Out initiative empowering fans to call out discrimination wherever they see it. Most football fans will have witnessed some form of discrimination in football – on the terraces, in dressing rooms or on social media – but rarely do fans feel they have the confidence to challenge it.