Football Unites to Show Racism the Red Card
Football clubs across South Tyneside have come together with Council leaders to show racism the red card in the game and in wider society.
South Shields, Hebburn Town and Jarrow football clubs united to help spread anti-racist messages as part of Show Racism the Red Card's annual Wear Red Day campaign.
Show Racism the Red Card (SRtRC) is the UK's leading anti-racism education charity which uses the high-profile status of football and football players to help tackle prejudice and racial discrimination in society by hosting educational events with young people and adults in schools, workplaces and the wider community.
Councillor Tracey Dixon, Leader of South Tyneside Council, said: "Show Racism the Red Card is about sending a very simple and striking message that racism will not be tolerated and it's important for communities to take a stand against this prejudice.
"Many young people look up to footballers as role models and it is this influence that makes the Show Racism the Red Card campaign so effective. It was fantastic to come together with our local clubs to use the power of football as a positive way of highlighting the issue and to promote positive racial attitudes among both young people and adults."
The clubs united at the Green Energy Sports Centre, home ground to Hebburn Town FC, which triumphantly won the FA Vase at Wembley earlier this year.
For Hebburn Town Juniors' Under 13's coach, Behnam Khazaeli, the Show Racism the Red Card initiative is close to his heart. He said: "Unfortunately, my son has suffered racial abuse in the last two seasons, and I experienced it as a young child as well. SRtRC is an important programme for educating not only children but adults around why racism should have no place in society. I ask everyone to back Wear Red Day."
Hebburn FC Director of Football, Stephen Rutherford added: "It is a fantastic initiative which really focuses on diversity. As a club that has a playing squad and a coaching squad of multinationals of all different faiths, religions and genders, it's great we can support this. We hope everyone else gets behind it too."
Dave Bell, Joint Manager at Jarrow FC, said: "It's a privilege to be involved. There is no place for racism in society, or in the football game, and it's great to get together with other local clubs and show our support."
Jamie Williams, SSFC Director of Development and Partnerships, added: "We are proud to stand with Hebburn and Jarrow football clubs as one to fight against racism. Racism has no place in our society and certainly no place in South Tyneside. Join us to make change happen."
South Tyneside Council is a long-standing supporter of Show Racism the Red Card, which marks its 25th anniversary this year. Once again, South Shields Town Hall will be lit up red on Wear Red Day tomorrow (22 October) and elected members and council staff are being encouraged to wear red. The charity has also been running anti-racism workshops in South Tyneside schools.
Councillor Joan Atkinson, Deputy Leader of South Tyneside Council, said: "We have an extremely successful partnership with Show Racism the Red Card which does a great deal of work in the Borough, exploring and challenging negative attitudes and promoting positive attitudes which helps us to celebrate our cultural diversity.
"We continue to support this important initiative because it sends a clear message that we will not tolerate prejudice and discrimination in our communities."
Sue Schofield, the charity's Education Team Manager, said: "We are really excited about the ongoing partnership work with South Tyneside Council and all the support we get from everyone across the community." Campaign worker, Seth Ejukwu added: "It's great to be bringing what we normally do with the premier league teams down to community level."
See South Tyneside Council and the Borough's three football clubs join forces to support Show Racism the Red Card with a special video on the Council's YouTube channel: https://youtu.be/MPWQdp9HQ38
For further information about the work of Show Racism the Red Card visit www.theredcard.org