As a football fan, I am looking forward to the start of the delayed Euro 2020 tournament today and I want to wish all of the home nations the best of luck in the tournament.
I will be supporting England this Sunday and fully support the England players and Gareth Southgate’s anti-racist position of taking a knee before games. Many of the England players have experienced racism, some whilst on England duty, and are using their position as role models to spread the message that racism has no place in football or society.
As Gareth Southgate has made clear, the players feel it is their duty to use their voice to raise awareness and educate people on matters of racial injustice, equality, and inclusivity. I condemn those that have chosen to oppose this inclusive, anti-racist stance. People who are opposing England player’s brave stance have made it clear that they are on side of those who do not wish to see racial equality, no matter what smokescreen they try to hide behind. I am deeply disappointed but sadly not surprised that the Prime Minister has failed to back our national team by condemning those who are showing contempt for anti-racism.
Alongside taking anti-racist action, education is vital to tackling the root causes of structural racism. We need to reform the curriculum to reflect and celebrate the UK’s diversity. I am proud to be the Vice-Chair of the Show Racism the Red Card (SRtRC) APPG, an anti-racism education charity that works with footballers to combat racism in society. SRtRC delivers excellent educational workshops to young people and adults in schools, workplaces, and at events to challenge misconceptions, stereotypes, and negative attitudes in society.
By coming together to proudly support the anti-racist action of the England team at Euro 2020 and advocating for anti-racist education, we can combat racist attitudes to help to create a fairer society for all.