By doing so the club pledged to create an equality, diversity and inclusion plan which applies when hiring for jobs. They agree to adopt specific recruitment principles and the targets would take effect immediately. In addition to this the club’s Board has set up a sub-group to ensure that the club adheres to this.
As supporters we can all play our part in ensuring that everyone is welcome and feels comfortable when coming to the Abbey Stadium to watch a match or when interacting with the club through its community and educational programmes. It is really is important that we incorporate and embed these principles now for future generations.
The Fans for Diversity campaign was organised through a partnership between the FSA and Kick it Out. Their work is not about sanitising the game and taking away what makes being in a football ground special - the raw atmosphere of defiance and jubilation which home teams want to build, and which away teams want to challenge.
It’s about acknowledging and developing matchdays which can be enjoyed by everyone – whether you want to bounce for 90 minutes after a few pints or give the mascot a cuddle and sit with the family. Pies and pakoras; Bovril and beer; a rainbow flag? It matters not once we’re in the stadium. We’re all fans with the same goal.
Being visible, being welcomed, being accepted. It’s a difficult journey for some and we want to make it easier, making football a place where people can enjoy our national game without fear of discrimination and abuse.
There key aims are:
- To communicate with people who may not think football is for them (including marginalised and under-represented communities) and to build bridges between those people, existing supporters and football clubs to create a welcoming space for everyone at football.
- To help those groups be more visible and accepted into the landscape of the football community, thereby encouraging more people to attend matches to support their club and community.
- To educate and challenge the narrative around discrimination and abuse. One way we do this by bringing people of different backgrounds together in solidarity – football is for everyone and if you share the same team, even more so.
To read more about the Fans for Diversity work see https://thefsa.org.uk/our-work/fans-for-diversity/
During February as part of the EFL’s ‘Not Today or Any Day’ campaign, which aims to raise further awareness of the zero-tolerance approach to discrimination, the League and its Clubs will show support for LGBT+ History Month throughout the month. You have probably seen the Amber & Proud flag in the South Stand. The flag was sourced through the Fans for Diversity programme. There is a Facebook page: Amber & Proud, which was set up to show that the Abbey is a welcoming and safe space for all LGBT+ fans.
Please take care and look after yourselves
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