Chelsea Chairman Bruce Buck was in New York this week to discuss our on-going Say No To Antisemitism project alongside New England Revolution President, Brian Bilello.
We will meet the Revolution in a charity match in Boston on Wednesday 15 May as part of the campaign, raising important funds for initiatives promoting equality and tolerance and tackling antisemitism.
The event, staged at New York University, included a panel discussion with the two figures discussing the role of sports clubs as a force for good in society, how the idea for May’s match was conceived and their hopes for the future of the Say No To Antisemitism campaign.
‘This is an indefinite programme, and we have some creative people looking at ways we can have different kinds of events and projects and we will keep moving forward,’ Buck explained.
‘We’re not going to see results overnight but we can’t be discouraged or frustrated. We just have to keep working. If a couple of years from now we can say we moved the needle a little bit, I think we will be satisfied.’
Bilello (pictured above in the centre) explained why the Revolution and their owners, the Kraft family, felt it was important to join Chelsea’s initiative, which was the idea of Roman Abramovich.
‘You have always seen the tie between culture and sport and how they work together. Sport has always been at the forefront of change,’ he said. ‘Antisemitism has always been there but has maybe disappeared from the public eye, there hasn’t been as much news about it. We had the tragedy in Pittsburgh which brought it back to the forefront and I think part of what we want to do is say this is still there in our society today.
‘No matter who a fan is and what their upbringing is, they love the club and look up to the players. When they’re saying it’s wrong, maybe it makes you think a little bit. The ability to reach so many people on a global scale is what makes this so special.’
Also present at the event were Malcolm Hoenlein and Arthur Stark, Executive Vice Chairman and Chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, who gave the keynote speech and thanked both teams and ownerships for their efforts fighting antisemitism. Vince Gennaro, Associate Dean of the NYU School of Professional Studies, is pictured on the right of the photo.