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.
Crystal Palace Women are supporting the Take A Stand initiative by ensuring visibility of campaign material is prominent on the matchday programme and shirts to aid players, coaching staff and supporters' understanding of where to go to report any discrimination they may encounter. Furthermore, Palace Women's players will use their social media channels to increase exposure, and continue to drive home the message that no discrimination will be tolerated. Additionally, the players will complete their pre-match warm-up in Take A Stand t-shirts.
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.”
Crystal Palace Women’s General Manager, Paula Johnson, spoke passionately about the campaign: "Crystal Palace Women are proud to support the Kick it Out campaign and will be taking a stand against any kind of abuse or discrimination to any of our players or indeed our fans,” she said.
“We pride ourselves on being a close, friendly club and would like to think that anyone who has a problem or been on the receiving end of any discrimination, would be able to come and report it to one of our staff.
"This focus should not and will not be just on this weekend but for the whole of the football season and beyond, it has to become part of everyday life not just for two days in the year."
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 here.
You can also make a pledge by joining the conversation on social media, just use #TakeAStand and tag Kick It Out in your posts. You can find them on social media as below: