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No Room For Racism

Ferguson and Mitchell promote equality message

16 Mar 2022
Nathan Ferguson, Crystal Palace, No Room For Racism

Crystal Palace duo visit local school to talk about their experiences and speaking out about discrimination

Crystal Palace duo Nathan Ferguson and Tyrick Mitchell drew from personal experiences of discrimination when they chatted with local children as part of No Room For Racism .

The pair recently visited Downsview Primary School in Upper Norwood to talk about dealing with discrimination in football and in wider society.

Changing attitudes

"I'm so passionate about the situation because when I was younger I experienced racism and I saw my friends experience racism," Ferguson told the club's official website.

"It was a very different time when I was younger. As a male as well, you're just seen to try and suck it up. I feel that this campaign is vital to teach kids that it's OK to talk."

The event was organised by the Palace for Life Foundation, the charitable arm of Crystal Palace, as part of the club's Team Mates programme - a positive psychology group intervention to support children and young people with their mental health.

Speaking out

And Ferguson stressed to the children the importance of speaking to someone they trust if they do experience discrimination.

"At school, talk to your mentors, talk to your teachers definitely. It's always good to have a strong relationship with your teachers," he said. 

"That's the first person you should be able to go to if you experience racism, bullying or mental health issues.

"The second scenario would be in football. Football is a difficult sport, but it could be anyone: it could be your manager, it could be your team-mates. You have to be able to speak about it."

There is No Room For Racism

Through No Room For Racism, the Premier League and its clubs work with fans, the FA, EFL, PFA, Kick It Out and the police to tackle racism on and off the pitch, promoting equality, diversity and inclusion across all areas of football.

This includes bespoke Premier League Primary Stars resources which are designed to be used in the classroom to teach pupils about the negative impacts of racism and what we can do to tackle it. 

And Ferguson believes educating young people is a vital in the battle against discrimination.

"I want to see kids learning," he says. "At the end of the day, I can’t teach someone who is older than me about racism; it's just been built into you.

"I know that kids learn best, I know that that is when I learnt the most, and that’s the best time to be teaching them."

See: How to report abuse on social media

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