What is Kick It Out? The charity battling racism in football

Kick It Out
Kick It Out
While racism is still rife within football, this organisation strives to make a change for the better and tackle discrimination

Since Kick It Out – the organisation fighting racism out of football – was formed, it has worked relentlessly with clubs, fans and players to abolish discrimination on and off the field.

The racist vitriol aimed at the likes of Tammy Abraham and Paul Pogba is sickening and abhorrent, but these events form a history of football that has already seen its fair share of bigoted incidents.

Kick It Out, however, is dedicated to promote equality within the industry – and Goal rounds up all you need to know about it.

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What is Kick It Out?

Kick It Out is a charity that works within English football to challenge discrimination in the game and to encourage inclusive practices to enact positive change.

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Formed in 1993 as 'Let's Kick Racism Out of Football' before changing their name to 'Kick It Out' in 1997, the charity has foundations in the educational and community sectors to fight discrimination and racism in the sport for everyone involved in the game.

It was first formed as a response to calls from clubs, players and football fans to challenge confront racist attitudes and incidents that have taken place within football.

On their objectives, the organisation stated: "[We aim] to significantly increase the awareness of inclusion and diversity, and the consequences of inappropriate behaviour across all levels of football.

"We aim to actively share good practice, critical actions, and partnership working to empower and support football organisations to develop their own responsibility towards greater equity and fairness.

"We aim to clearly show the importance of exposing inequalities and the positive value and impact that can be made through collective preventative action."

Kick It Out is supported and funded by the game's governing bodies, such as the PFA (Professional Footballers' Association), the Premier League and the FA.

The charity also provides support in mentoring young aspiring footballers with its Raise Your Game conferences, in addition to working closely to promote equality and diversity in non-league football. 

How Kick It Out responds to and deals with incidents

The organisation calls on federations such as the FA and the PFA in their condemnation of racial attacks aimed at footballers, such as when Chelsea forward Abraham was victim to online abuse.

The forward was at the forefront of several abusive posts on Twitter after his penalty was saved by Liverpool goalkeeper Adrian in the UEFA Super Cup.

“Last night we received reports of racist abuse at Tammy Abraham on social media after Chelsea’s UEFA Super Cup match,” a Kick It Out statement read.

“Such abuse is now increasingly predictable, but no less disgusting.

Tammy Abraham Chelsea 2019-20

“We send our support to Tammy and reiterate our call for Twitter and other social media companies to clamp down on this level of abuse. This is a call to action – we want to know what they are going to do to tackle this insidious problem.”

They then called on the FA and individual clubs to take action after the incidents of the online abuse.

After Manchester United midfielder Pogba missed a penalty against Wolves, he also received a high volume of racist comments on Twitter.

It was then announced that Man United and Kick It Out would meet representatives of Twitter regarding concerns over racism and other abuse aimed at footballers on the social media website.

“Over the next few weeks, Twitter representatives will meet with Manchester United, Kick It Out and any other civil society stakeholders interested in hearing about the proactive work Twitter is doing to address online racist abuse towards certain footballers in the UK,” Twitter said.

Paul Pogba Manchester United

“We have always maintained an open and healthy dialogue with our partners in this space but we know we need to do more to protect our users. Racist behaviour has no place on our platform and we strongly condemn it.”

A study commissioned by the anti-racism organisation between 2014 and 2015 found that there were 130,000 discriminatory posts aimed at players and other figures in football within the 20 Premier League clubs.