At Chelsea FC, we are clear that there can be no place in our game, nor our society, for racism, antisemitism or any form of discrimination.
In sport, as in wider society, we must also create a social media environment where hateful and discriminatory actions are as unacceptable online as they would be on the street.
In January 2021, our player Reece James suffered disgusting and unacceptable racist abuse on social media. This was not an isolated incident. Several of our players have been, and continue to be, the targets of hate and discrimination online.
We as a club will not tolerate this any longer. We agree wholeheartedly with our players that something needs to change, in football and beyond.
That is why, in the aftermath of the abuse suffered by Reece in January, Chelsea FC owner Roman Abramovich directed the board to further increase the club’s efforts to fight racism and committed to personally directing funds towards this important work.
Today we can announce that as a result of this directive from Mr. Abramovich, we are launching the first steps in our new No To Hate campaign. As part of No To Hate, Chelsea FC will be taking action in the following areas:
- We will upscale our work with local schools to support education in anti-racism and anti-discrimination.
- We will provide enhanced training and education in anti-discrimination for all Chelsea FC colleagues.
- We will ensure further training in identifying and dealing with racist and discriminatory behaviour for all matchday stewards.
- We will intensify our efforts to promote equality, diversity and inclusion through club channels, and use our global reach to amplify anti-racist messaging.
- We are engaging an agency to help us moderate our digital channels and identify, report and, where possible, delete hateful and discriminatory comments.
- We are offering our players individual and bespoke support to identify and report hateful and discriminatory comments posted on their digital channels.
- We will continue to work to identify abusers and take the strongest possible action against them. This will include bans where there is clear evidence that they are Chelsea FC members or season ticket holders, and working with the police and authorities to secure prosecutions.
- We will petition social media companies to strengthen their means, capacity and tools for dealing with racist behaviour on their platforms.
- We will be publishing a new Club Social Media Policy with guidance for fans, including information for fans on identifying and reporting racist abuse on social media platforms.
- We will provide increased support for victims of racist abuse at Chelsea FC.
- We will continue to work with football authorities and campaigning organisations to support best practice on tackling racism and promoting equality, diversity and inclusion.
- We will brief our players on safety and security online, and provide them with the tools to protect themselves on social media.
- We will provide increased opportunities for Black, Asian and other under-represented minority coaches to achieve their coaching qualifications through the Chelsea FC Foundation.
- We will continue to support and participate in the Football Association (FA) coaching programmes to provide pathways for Black, Asian and other under-represented minority coaches.
- We will provide bursaries for Black, Asian and other under-represented minority journalists and increase Black, Asian and other under-represented minority representation among the media at Chelsea FC Men’s and Women’s games.
- We will host a conference to promote equality action and share best practice in tackling racism in sport and society.
- We will use advertising real estate online and around Stamford Bridge to drive awareness and encourage action against racism.
- We will work with our fans to drive awareness, joining us in activities to promote equality, diversity and inclusion, and using their own platforms to say No To Hate.
- We will work with club partners on campaigns that promote equality, diversity and inclusion, on their platforms and ours.
The No To Hate campaign will continue to grow and develop in the coming months and we will be adding to these actions. No To Hate will run in tandem with Chelsea FC’s Equality Action Plan, our Say No To Antisemitism campaign, as well as our work as signatories to the FA’s Football Leadership Diversity Code and our support for the Premier League’s No Room For Racism Action Plan.
Chelsea FC Chairman Bruce Buck said: 'There are several strands to our work against all forms of discrimination at Chelsea FC, including our Say No To Antisemitism campaign and all of the work we have put into our Equality Action Plan, but the racist abuse of Reece on social media was a painful reminder that we need to do more. Mr. Abramovich directed me and the board to identify further action we could take to tackle racism in football and society, and today we launch No To Hate, a campaign which we fervently hope will have tangible positive impact for our players, staff, fans and communities.'
At Chelsea FC we have said enough is enough and that something needs to change. It’s now time for action. We ask our fans and communities to join us as we say No To Hate.