Kick It Out!

20 May

The English Football Association has taken commendable steps towards addressing the problem of racism in football. The response began in the 90’s after black players had suffered years of some of the worst abuse in Europe. English football stadiums have served as a recruiting ground for far right groups and the atmosphere has generally been quite hostile towards black players and fans. The situation has improved in recent years but incidents still occur which remind us that there is still a long way to go. Groups like Kick it Out are in part responsible for the progress that has been made in England. The campaign is supported and funded by the game’s governing bodies, including founding body the Professional Footballers Association (PFA), the Premier League and The Football Association. The Kick it Out campaign has produced a number of different educational materials and also ran the advertisement below on TV for a while. I think the message comes across quite well through the use of humor. I didn’t feel as if I was being lectured which I think is a problem with most public service announcements.

Aside from educational materials and the advertisement above, Kick it Out has also developed the Equality Standard for Professional Clubs. This is a progression from the Racial Equality Standard, which was established by Kick It Out in 2004. The Equality Standard encompasses all six areas of diversity and aims to ensure that individuals are not discriminated against on the grounds of any of Race, Religion, Age, Gender, Disability and Sexual Orientation. The Standard was launched in 2009 and helps football clubs to recognize existing partnerships, activities and projects they deliver to under-represented groups and individuals, and helps to identify new target markets and fans for the future. The Standard provides a measurement that holds clubs accountable for the promises that they make to fight discrimination. This is important because Clubs want to present themselves in a good light and show that they are in touch with current social issues. Achieving the Equality Standard gives Clubs an incentive to devote time and resources towards tackling discrimination because it provides good publicity.

There are three levels of achievement within the Equality Standard and they are Preliminary, Intermediate, and Advanced.

PreliminaryWhere are we now?:  The Club will have demonstrated a commitment to equality by developing a written Equal Opportunities Policy encompassing all six areas of equality and produced an equality action plan for all areas of activity.  The plan will be regularly monitored and will include an assessment of the club’s current supporter base, community development targets and clear guidelines for dealing with abuse.

IntermediateWhat are we doing?: The Club will have demonstrated clear improvements in services as a result of monitoring, built relationships with local under represented communities and individuals and implemented its action plan.  The Club will be able to show clear evidence of the implementation of the Equal Opportunities Policy and delivered appropriate training to all staff.

AdvancedWhat has changed?: The Club will be an exemplar in the way it monitors under-representation across all levels and areas of activity; as employees, supporters and of participants in community outreach programs. The Club will be in a position to demonstrate what has been achieved through the production of an impact assessment and illustrate what changes have been made as a result of the Standard.

To date, over 30 professional clubs have already achieved the Preliminary Level of the Racial Equality Standard with eight of those clubs going on to further achieve the Intermediate Level. To see a list of these clubs please go to this link.

http://www.kickitout.org/422.php

Source

http://www.kickitout.org/1.php

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