This evening’s game against Brighton and Hove Albion sees a focus on our equality and diversity work.
At Chelsea, we are clear that there can be no place in our game, nor our society, for racism, antisemitism, or any form of discrimination.
The match will be a time to highlight the achievements of the club’s wide-ranging initiatives to tackle discrimination in all its forms, but this year the fixture gives us an opportunity to look to the future, as we develop and build on our recently formed No To Hate campaign.
In a bid to continue our efforts to fight racism and discrimination, the club launched our No To Hate campaign in March and tonight the squad will wear the No To Hate logo on their kits and the logo will also feature on the centre circle banner, pitch-side LED boards and lamp posts around Stamford Bridge.
Tonight’s match also coincides with the Premier League’s weeks of action as part of their No Room For Racism campaign, which makes it clear that any form of discrimination is unacceptable in football or the wider society.
This year, the Chelsea Foundation also introduced a new equality programme in collaboration with US-based organization the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).
The partnership, funded by club owner Roman Abramovich, has seen the programme delivered across schools, providing lessons and activities to help schools and pupils talk about difference and diversity, celebrate inclusion, understand discrimination and how it makes people feel and how to make everyone feel included and safe.
No To Hate was created in the aftermath of the abuse suffered by Reece James earlier in the year. This was not an isolated incident with several of our players experiencing hate and discrimination online. Mr. Abramovich directed the board to further increase the club’s effort to fight racism and committed to personally directing funds towards this important work.
Part of this work will see the club engage with an agency to help us moderate our digital channels and identify, report, and where possible, delete hateful and discriminatory comments posted on our players digital channels.
A new Club Social Media Policy with guidance for fans, including information for fans on identifying and reporting racist abuse on social media platforms will be published and we will also continue to petition social media companies to strengthen their means, capacity and tools to tackle racist behaviour on their platforms.
Our No To Hate campaign will continue to grow and develop in the coming months and will run in tandem with our Equality Action Plan, which recently achieved the Premier League’s Equality Advanced Standard accolade, and our award-winning Say No To Antisemitism campaign.
The club recently launched our Say No To Antisemitism website which is funded by Mr. Abramovich and provides the club’s updates, events and resources centre around our antisemitism campaign.
This year the club has also continued to ensure our club is a safe and welcoming place for LGBT+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) people, their friends, and families, promoting an inclusive sporting community.
Earlier in the season, the club showed our support to Stonewall’s Rainbow Laces campaign, which sends a strong message of zero tolerance to homophobic, biphobic and transphobic behaviour, whether on the pitch, in the stands or on social media, during our men and women’s fixtures against Leeds United and West Ham United.
The club will also continue 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, while also working with partners who share our vision of a game and a society free of discriminations in all its forms.