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No Room For Racism

Calvert-Lewin: It's important to speak about racism

23 Apr 2021
CC

After suffering racism as a child the Everton striker stresses importance of education in schools

After first encountering discrimination at a very young age, Dominic Calvert-Lewin has spoken of his support for the Premier League's initiative to promote education on racism in schools.

The Everton striker, who has 14 Premier League goals this season, says he suffered racism when he was about six.

So he features in a video as part of the Premier League's ongoing No Room For Racism initiative to stimulate discussion among schoolchildren about racism.

"At that age the person that's being racist towards you probably don't quite understand what it really means or what they are actually saying," Calvert-Lewin says in the video.

"The lad actually became one of my best friends throughout school. It was just a prime example of not being educated at that point."

Educational videos

The video is part of a series of educational resources also featuring players such as Michail Antonio, Neal Maupay, Divock Origi, Hamza Choudhury, Manchester City Women's Demi Stokes and others.

The resources are available for free through the Premier League Primary Stars programme to more than 18,000 primary schools and are also available to young people on the Premier League Kicks and Premier League Inspires programmes.

See: PL Primary Stars: This is Everyone's Game - Black Voices

"[It's important] to love yourself and never let what anybody says to you, whether it's about the colour of your skin or your appearance or anything like that [affect you]," Calvert-Lewin adds.

"Stand strong, be comfortable in yourself and speak. It's important to be vocal and don't be afraid."

Central reporting system

Tackling online hate is a priority for football, and the Premier League works with its clubs and partners to challenge social media companies on it.

The Premier League's online abuse reporting system is helping players, managers and their family members who receive serious discriminatory online abuse. Each case is rapidly reviewed, reported to the relevant social media company and investigated. Where appropriate, legal action is taken. 

The League and clubs are also encouraging fans to play their part in the fight against racism by reporting it whenever they encounter it.

See: How to report abuse on social media

"Some players have reported it now and it's nice to know that if you do report it, something's going to happen," Calvert-Lewin says. "You know people are now getting punished now for what they are saying.

"It's empowering to know people of all different ethnicities are fighting for what's right."

Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Everton

"It's obviously awfully sad that racism is still alive and still going on but it's also very empowering to know that people of all different ethnicities are standing with the movement and fighting for what's right."

Education important

But Calvert-Lewin returns to the importance of education at all ages to combat discrimination, especially with comments made on social media.

"They have to understand that what you put on the internet is there for ever," he says. "At the end of the day it can ultimately affect your future.

"It's so important you think before you speak and think before you type."

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