Kick It Out: Watford FC Supports Refreshed Vision To Combat Discrimination

By: Watford FC Staff

As part of the club’s ongoing We Campaign, Watford FC is pleased to support Kick It Out’s refreshed strategy and updated vision for the charity’s future, which is detailed below...

Since 1993, Kick It Out has been at the heart of the fight against discrimination in football, leading the charge for positive change. Moving forward, Kick It Out will explore supporting other sports, provided these are funded independently of football.

In January 2022, we announced an exploratory partnership with the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), to identify and address issues of equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) within cricket, and work in this area is ongoing.

The hate, abuse and inequality in sport persists, and as long as discrimination exists, so will we.

Refreshed Vision

Kick It Out will continue to lead the fight with a clear purpose and vision:

  • To support words with action, providing long-term solutions and tangible acts.
  • To challenge ignorance and inequality, providing a voice for any individual or organisation.
  • To educate, inform and direct our audience, giving them the tools for change.
  • To mobilise and empower our allies so that our message becomes theirs.
  • To confront all issues, from the dressing-room to the boardroom.

Kick It Out’s new strategy will focus on three key pillars of activity:

Voice: We will amplify unheard voices, lead thinking, and advocate for change.

  • A host of working groups will tackle specific issues across sport, such as Antisemitism and LGBTQ+, and we will lead public dialogue and guide best practice on EDI issues in sport.
  • We will continue to work with our partners in football, to drive and lead football’s response to online abuse, including work around the Online Safety Bill and lobbying parliament.

Skills: We will create understanding and build knowledge

  • A new digital learning platform, launching later this year, will host EDI learning resources to connect sports organisations with training materials and expertise across a host of areas.
  • We will continue to develop and scale up our fan education programme, reaching more football fans, by providing rehabilitative sessions for those found guilty of discriminatory abuse.

Talent: We will inspire opportunity and connect it with unseen talent

  • Initiatives will include our updated Raise Your Game programme, which aims to develop talent through different stages of their career, from entry-level to senior leadership across a range of sport careers.

A Change In Identity

Kick It Out’s new logo - shown above - is inspired by the shape of a football, the sport we are most associated with. But it also references a club badge design, which is an important aspect of our brand as we want supporters to wear the Kick It Out logo with pride and engage other sports in our mission.

The logo is deliberately hand-crafted to bring across attitude and energy, as well as a sense of our grassroots beginnings. The ‘IT’ is at the heart of the logo, representing everything Kick It Out stands against, which is all forms of discrimination.

Sanjay Bhandari, Kick It Out Chair, explained: “Our heritage is tackling racism in football, but our scope for the future is to expand our remit to create more inclusive cultures in other sports and tackle every form of discrimination. Today, we run education programmes for academy players, parents and fans and we will be developing our education offering even further in the coming months.

“We will continue to campaign to make sure football is always welcoming – to everyone. We remain committed to supporting people from under-represented and minority communities to make a career in football and thrive. And we will continue to call out discrimination wherever it happens – from your local park, to the Premier League and to your social feed.”

Tony Burnett, Kick It Out CEO, said: “Our new visual identity is focused on being bold and energetic, and easier to adopt and utilise across different channels, activations, and other sports. This, alongside our updated vision, will help us better reach our target audiences and execute our strategy. We also want to say thank you to the Sky Creative Agency, as part of our ongoing partnership with Sky, they have helped execute our new brand identity and bring our creative vision to life.

“We all know Kick It Out shouldn’t have to exist. Our biggest hope is that one-day football and other sports will no longer need us. But right now, we’re here to put an end to every form of discrimination. We won’t stop until it stops.”

Dave Messenger, Watford FC’s EDI Lead, added: “Watford FC is a club for everyone, with our EDI activities representing and engaging with the heart and soul of the community which surrounds it. The issue of discrimination in football is something that should and will remain in sharp focus for everyone associated with the club. We are delighted to continue our long-standing support of Kick It Out, as we share their refreshed vision for a truly inclusive sport.”

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