Chelsea travel to America today to help fight discrimination as part of our Say No To Antisemitism campaign, culminating in the Final Whistle On Hate match with New England Revolution on Wednesday night.
We have teamed up with the MLS side to stand up against racism and discrimination of all kinds. The game at the world-famous Gillette Stadium, also home to reigning Super Bowl champions the New England Patriots, will raise money and awareness for a number of initiatives that tackle discrimination, persecution and hatred, including the World Jewish Congress, the Tree of Life synagogue, the Anti-Defamation League and the Holocaust Educational Trust.
While in the United States, several other special activities will take place, reports of which will appear on this website and on The 5th Stand.
The initial idea for our visit to New England was developed by the two clubs’ owners Roman Abramovich and Robert Kraft, in light of a global rise in antisemitic activity and hate crimes, including the tragic massacre at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh on 27 October last year, during which 11 innocent people lost their lives while worshipping.
Both owners have given their full backing to the initiative by donating $1 million in support of the cause, in addition to the commitment of their teams.
When announcing the Final Whistle On Hate game, Mr Abramovich said: ‘I am proud of the work Chelsea does to promote equality and tackle discrimination all over the world. The Say No To Antisemitism campaign has already achieved so much in raising awareness of this important issue, but there remains a lot of work to do. I am delighted to join forces with New England Revolution and Mr Kraft in this initiative and we look forward to the match.’
Chelsea have already been working closely with New England Revolution ahead of Wednesday’s game. Delegations representing the two clubs joined together with thousands of others from around the world at the annual March of the Living at former Nazi concentration camps in Poland, which takes place on Israel’s Holocaust Memorial Day and contrasts with the death marches so many were forced to suffer during World War Two.
Taking part were Chelsea director Eugene Tenenbaum, CEO Guy Laurence, former manager Avram Grant and Olympic legend and Blues fan Sir Steve Redgrave, while Revolution’s group included President Brian Bilello and club ambassador Charlie Davies.
The younger generation were also represented as Chelsea Academy players Armando Broja, Jordan Aina, Dynel Simeu, Sam McClelland, Jake Askew and George Nunn joined the Blues contingent, along with Under-18s coach Andy Myers and assistant Jon Harley.
Chelsea Chairman Bruce Buck and New England Revolution President Brian Bilello also discussed our Say No To Antisemitism project and the upcoming Final Whistle On Hate match during a panel discussion on the role of sports clubs as a force for good in society, in an event at New York University.
‘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.’
There is still a long way to go, but it is a fight Chelsea believes is necessary. There can be no place in our game for antisemitism or any form of discrimination and the club is determined to inspire others to join this vital cause, with our match in America on Wednesday evening evidence of what can be achieved when we are united against hate.