We Campaign: Hornets Continue Fight Against Discrimination & Abuse

By: Watford FC Staff

Ahead of the 2023/24 season, Watford FC is proud to reiterate its commitment to tackling every type of discrimination and abuse directly.

The We campaign, which sees dedicated club staff working with the hate crime unit at Herts Police to investigate and take appropriate action with all incidents reported, moves into its fifth season having received over 100 complaints since its inception in Autumn 2019 and we thank those supporters who have used the We campaign to date.

A total of 38 incidents were reported across last season, a decrease on the previous year which has been driven by a drop in incidents of homophobic and sexist abuse. While the overall total is positive, the numbers of reports of racism have stayed at the same level, which shows there is still plenty of work to do.

During last season, the club started to raise awareness of the use of the ‘g-word’ in stadiums, which is the derivative of ‘gypsy’ used at the end of a popular chant about our local rivals. We are fully aware that our supporters have used this chant for several years, and we’re also aware that many of our supporters consider the word to be ‘football banter’ and ‘part of the game’. The word in question is racist, its use can be classed as a hate crime and we will no longer ignore its use at our matches.

Of the 24 racist incidents reported last season, eight were related to this word. As a result of these, six education and awareness sessions for supporters involved were run by the club, assisted by Kick It Out where appropriate, while stadium bans and behaviour agreements have also been issued in two cases. The club will continue to take appropriate action across the coming season and ask everyone to play their part in tackling discrimination by no longer using the ‘g-word’ in chants.

Every incident has an impact on our proud tradition of being the original family club, and we remain fully committed to the campaign. Please text ‘We’, followed by seat numbers and details, to 66777 straight away. The same details will be used at all Watford FC men’s and women’s matches, and Community Trust events, so please work with us to make our stadiums and events enjoyable for all supporters.

During last season the club also extended the reach of the We campaign by launching ‘We Allies’, a group of supporters who have become advocates for and helped us promote the We campaign, and showed their support of our work on EDI (Equality, Diversity & Inclusion) amongst their fellow Hornets. If you would like to join the group or have any questions regarding ‘We Allies’, please email Chris Hall, the club’s Supporter Liaison Officer, at chris.hall@watfordfc.com with ‘We Allies’ in the subject line, giving a brief overview of why you would like to take part.

Click HERE to find out more about Watford FC’s commitment to Equality, Diversity & Inclusion.

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