Kick It Out works with Facebook on new anti-discrimination film

Why did Facebook and Kick It Out start this initiative?

Many of the football fans talked in the movie admitted they did not know how to react when they saw or experienced discrimination.

However, they all agreed that there is a way to stand up against discrimination and show that “we as a group of football lovers are not going to accept that”.

What resources does the initiative provide for people to take a stand?

Fans can get free resources from Kick it Out, The FA and HOPE Not Hate by adding 07432 140 310 to their WhatsApp contacts and sending hello.

You can also use a messaging service to report matchday discrimination directly to Kick It Out, who can take immediate action with the appropriate authorities.

A pilot educational program with HOPE Not Hate is being run through community and fan initiatives in partnership with England national teams, Derby County and Portsmouth to de-normalize any form of discriminatory language and empower silent viewers to address it.

What did the fans appearing in the film say?

In the film, referring to an incident at a Sunday league game, Lee Vehit, 41, founder of BAME Hammers, a West Ham United supporters group that gives a unified voice to all Black, Asian and ethnic minority fans, said: “One of our players was strong from challenged from behind, cleats up, on the back of his legs.

“My teammate was on his hands and knees in pain. One of the opponents ran straight to him and said: “What are you doing, you are praying to Allah for a goal, get up you stinking Muslim”.

“I didn’t know what to do, I honestly didn’t know what to do. And I’m probably ashamed that I didn’t tackle it right away.

“Through education, through public campaigns, people need to understand that language is really important. Driving the agenda that discrimination in the game is not acceptable and that collectively as a group of football lovers we will not accept it.”

What did Kick It Out say?

Sanjay Bhandari, Chair of Kick It Out, added: “By continuing the conversation about discrimination in football, we hope to turn viewers into activists so football can be a game that is enjoyed by all, free from abuse.

“We know that social media in particular can be a battlefield of hate. This is partly a behavioral and partly a technological problem.

“So we need behavioral and technological solutions. It’s important that we work with the social media companies to solve these problems and encourage different behaviors.”

(Photo: Ashley Allen/Getty Images)

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