This season marks the 25th anniversary of Kick It Out and today we dedicate our fixture against Gillingham to their work.
For the last 25 years, the organisation has been at the heart of the drive towards equality, inclusion and cohesion for everyone who plays, watches or works in football.
But the high-profile incidents that have marred football this season prove the sport needs an organisation like Kick It Out now more than ever.
Bradford City Womens FC (BCWFC), the Bangla Bantams, Just a Ball Game and Bradford City Disability FC Women's team will be in attendance this afternoon.
Also, BCWFC's junior team will be playing on the pitch at half-time to represent Kick It Out's dedication to fighting discrimination across all forms in football.
Although Kick It Out's 'Week of Action' was earlier in the season, the club moved it to Monday's fixture due to plans already being in place to work with BCWFC and the Bangla Bantams.
Having started as ‘Let’s Kick Racism Out of Football’ in 1993, Kick It Out has evolved into an organisation which – working alongside its partners The FA, the Premier League, the English Football League, The Professional Footballers’ Association, the League Managers Association and the Football Supporters’ Federation, among others – fights ALL forms of discrimination in the game we love.
Since its inception, Kick It Out has provided a clear, independent voice within the game to challenge discrimination and exclusion, as well as education for professional players, clubs, fans, grassroots organisations and beyond.
The organisation also provides mentoring and guidance to help underrepresented groups participate in football and secure opportunities to develop a career in the game.
Kick It Out has established an equality framework for professional clubs, supporting the development of equality practices and policies, and enabled more effective reporting and investigating of complaints of discriminatory abuse through its pioneering reporting app.
However, despite 25 years of progress, hatred, prejudice, abuse and discrimination are still evident in our society and in football.
In the 2018/19 season and beyond, we want everyone involved in football to continue to campaign for equality and challenge discrimination, while playing a part in shaping a fair and inclusive future for everyone who loves the game.
But don’t forget to recognise how far we’ve come. Let’s kick racism and discrimination out of football – together.
You can report discrimination to Kick It Out via their app, via email on email@example.com, via their online reporting form on their website, or via freephone on 0800 169 9414.