As part of our Take A Stand campaign -  a digital first campaign driven largely through social media channels - we’ve partnered with Facebook to help provide fans with the education and tools to empower them to call out discrimination wherever they see it. 

As part of this we’ve spoken to fans from clubs across the English football leagues to explore experiences of discrimination and how it has impacted their relationship with the game and those around them. 

From targeted abuse in Sunday League games, to racist fan chants, homophobic slurs and group messaging exchanges, this short documentary highlights the impact discrimination has on those who love the game.

Comments such as ‘not knowing what to do’, ‘I feel ashamed I didn’t say anything’, or ‘not wanting to put myself or my friends at risk’ may feel familiar to those who have witnessed or experienced discrimination first-hand in the game. Yet as many of the fans say, there is a way to stand up against discrimination and show that ‘collectively as a group of football lovers, we aren’t going to accept it’.

With the right tools and education, we believe everyone can do something to Take a Stand against hate and promote a more inclusive society.

Jerry Newman, Director of EMEA Sports Partnerships at Facebook says: “Working closely with Kick It Out, we want to give fans the confidence to call out discrimination when they see it – to replace silence with action. As the fans we spoke to in the video show, standing up to it can be difficult, but it’s not impossible and so many of them are finding ways to challenge others in person, on social media and through their networks. Now is the time for every fan to feel empowered to take action. The aim of our new tools and resources is to make it easier for football fans from all backgrounds to challenge and report these incidences; to create an environment where people can be free from discrimination and abuse in real life and on our apps.”

Sanjay Bhandari, Kick It Out Chair, adds: "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. It’s inspiring to see these fans share their own personal experiences of discrimination, as by speaking out and not accepting abuse, we hope they will inspire others to do the same. We all have a role to play in challenging discrimination when we see it – whether that is calling it out or reporting it. By keeping the conversation going around discrimination in football, we hope to turn bystanders into activists, so that football can be a game that is enjoyed by all, free from abuse. We know that social media in particular can be a battleground of hate. This is partly a behavioural and partly a technological problem. So we need behavioural and technological solutions. It is essential that we work with the social media companies to help solve these problems and encourage different behaviours.”