Black History Month: Tackling racism in sport and employment

As we celebrate Black History Month and show support for National Hate Crime Awareness Week, we want to highlight the ongoing impact of racism in sport and employment, and how we’re tackling this at Street League.

“sadly it's nothing new” was English footballer Jadon Sancho’s reaction to the racial abuse aimed at himself and fellow Black players during the Euro 2020 final against Italy. This is not ok. Of course, racism is not only a football (or sport) problem - it’s a deep-rooted societal problem.

So what can we do?

Educate, empower, eradicate hate.

At Street League we aim to:

Educate others and ourselves:

Did you know that young Black people are less likely to take part in sports and physical activities? And that the unemployment rate among young Black people shot up by 64.4% during the pandemic compared with 17% for their White counterparts?

Racism is more than just verbal or written abuse, it’s systemic, and sport is no different. There are ingrained inequalities in sport and employment, meaning many people feel excluded because of discrimination, stereotypes, and simply not having the same options and opportunities. We want to change this.

We commit to sharing resources, educating others, and talking about how social issues impact Black communities.

We are also open to being educated ourselves on how we can be better allies to the Black community (and other minority groups), and reflect on the ways in which we might inadvertently participate in furthering inequities.

Empower our staff and young people:

At the very core of what we do, we use the power of sport to empower young people. We build a sense of community across our programmes that encourages teamwork, lifting other people up, and places a specific focus on confidence and self-worth. We understand that each participant is different and provide tailored support suited to individual needs and journeys. Many factors play into the lack of BAME (Black, Asian and minority ethnic) participation in sport and we want to ensure Street League is part of the solution and not the problem.

We want to amplify the voices of Black youth in our programme and Black staff across the organisation, providing platforms for feedback and reflection to evaluate how we can do better.

We want everyone to feel welcome at Street League and commit to building a culture that ensures this is the case.

Eradicate hate:

There is no room for hate at Street League. Not in our offices. Not in our programmes.

All staff members and participants are encouraged to challenge racism and discrimination of any kind within our organisation and programmes, and follow Street League’s reporting process so that issues can be be dealt with.

Black History Month is not just about the past.

It’s about the now.

It’s about the future.

We all have a part to play.

The fight against racism is not a fight for black people – it is everybody’s fight.

Ronaldo

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