Building a future of football without discrimination

As part of their support for #iwill and the #PowerOfYouth campaign, the Premier League put their heads together with young people to address the issue of discrimination in football.

From top left to bottom right: Ceylon, Amelia, Charli, Harrison, Will (PL), Amanda (PL), Rhammel, Claire, Dev, Athika, Atlanta, Debra, Patrick. We were later also joined by Kelvyn. 

Twelve young people, including #iwill Ambassadors and representatives from the education charity Football Beyond Borders came together for an honest and challenging conversation about discrimination in football, what can be done to tackle it, and how young people can play their part in the future.

They were joined by Will Brass, Commercial Director at the Premier League, who was keen to hear young people’s perspectives on the work that the Premier League is doing to address racism and discrimination, and to understand how their campaigns can communicate this work to young audiences. Ceylon Andi Hickman, football player, #iwill young trustee and Head of Impact & Female Participation at Football Beyond Borders, chaired the discussion – bringing with her experience as a “Gamechanger” with Kick It Out, which campaigns for inclusion in football.

Debra from Football Beyond Borders shares a question about the role of women, and women of colour, in leadership at Premier League.

#iwill Ambassador Rhammel shares what makes a meaningful campaign to address discrimination, based on his experience with Pride London.

Throughout the listening event, the young people shared their experiences around the accessibility of football for young people, levels of comfort and safety in attending matches, and their responses to existing anti-discrimination campaigns. A particular focus of the conversation fell on racism, but inclusion of women, LGBT+ people and people with disabilities also featured.

We are looking forward to working with the Premier League on next steps following the event, to see which areas could potentially be developed, or issues addressed, from the ideas and experiences shared.

Watch Ceylon and Will’s closing remarks from the event below.

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