The Premier League has urged fans to challenge and report racism in football and wider society as it launches the latest phase of its No Room For Racism initiative.
Premier League players Tyrone Mings, Michail Antonio, Cesar Azpilicueta, Conor Coady, Ben Mee and Kalvin Phillips feature in a video calling on supporters to ‘Challenge it, report it, change it.’
The No Room for Racism message will be visible at all Premier League matches played between 17 and 26 October.
Premier League chief executive Richard Masters said: “No Room For Racism represents the long-standing commitment of the Premier League and our clubs to tackle discrimination. This is not just about challenging and reporting abuse this weekend or next weekend, but throughout this season, next season and beyond.
“We will not stand still on this important issue and we will continue to work with our clubs, players and partners to address all discriminatory behaviour with tangible long-term action and strong messaging to fans. Much is being done to promote inclusion and equality in English football but we recognise there is much more to do.”
The latest stage of the campaign will also see the Premier League providing a series of educational resources on racism, which will be available to more than 18,000 primary schools in England.
The No Room For Racism campaign, which was launched in March 2019, looks to build on the momentum built by players’ support for the Black Lives Matter movement since the 2019/20 Premier League season restarted in June.
Players have knelt at the start of matches, and have continued to do so at the start of the knew season, in a gesture the Premier League says it “continues to support”.
Survey shows players kneeling in support of BLM retains backing of fans
Meanwhile, players kneeling in support of Black Lives Matter retains the backing of fans but opinions are split, according to a survey by YouGov.
The fans surveyed were narrowly in favour of players and staff taking a knee pre-match, a margin of 49 per cent to 41 with 10 per cent answering “don’t know”.
Regarding players kneeling, the survey asked: “When the 2019-20 Premier League football season resumed following the break due to coronavirus (COVID-19), Premier League players and staff knelt at the beginning of each game to show solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement. This is something that has continued into the 2020-21 Premier League football season, which restarted in September 2020.
“We understand there is a range of views on this, but if you had to choose do you…” with the options to approve, disapprove or answer “don’t know”.
Among a weighted sample of 915 respondents, 49 per cent answered that they approve while 41 per cent disapprove with the remainder unsure.
The margin was 48 per cent to 43 among male and 52 to 35 among female respondents, while the breakdown by age offers further insight with support stronger among the younger generation.
In the 25-34 age bracket, fans were in favour by a margin of 63 per cent to 26 with 11 per cent unsure. That narrowed to 52 per cent to 40 in the 35-44 age group and 49 per cent to 36 among 45 to 54-year-olds, before flipping to 36 per cent approving and 57 per cent disapproving among over-55s.
The survey also considered social grade and region, with the ABC1 social class in favour by 56 per cent to 35 while the C2DE class were opposed by 48 per cent to 39.
The strongest regional support was found in Scotland (61 per cent to 33) and London (59 to 31), with only the “Midlands” and “East” regions narrowly opposed to the gesture.