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No Room For Racism

No Room For Racism two-year progress update explained

11 Feb 2023
NRFR plinth and ball Oct 2022

We look at progress in tackling discrimination and embedding equality and increasing diversity in the game

The Premier League has announced that the next two weekends of matches in the competition (between 11-19 February) will be dedicated to its No Room For Racism initiative. Here we explain why.

Why at this time?

Since it was started back in March 2019, the Premier League’s No Room For Racism initiative is "always on", in that we do not stop looking to tackle discrimination and to embed equality and increase diversity throughout the game.

During this season, there are two periods where No Room For Racism will take centre stage at our matches, which are available to be viewed in 880 million homes in 188 countries.

The No Room For Racism branding features in our matches to remind fans in the UK and around the world of the clear message that discrimination will not be tolerated in football or wider society, as well as demonstrating how diversity across all areas of the game makes it stronger.

The promotion over the next two weeks coincides with the two-year anniversary of the launch of the Premier League’s No Room For Racism Action Plan.

The League is updating the progress that has been made on the six key objectives that were set out in its No Room For Racism Action Plan (see below for more details).

What will you see at Premier League matches?

As in previous match rounds dedicated to No Room For Racism over the past five seasons, the inventory of matches (the ball plinth, the back boards in front of which players shake hands with their opponents and LED advertising boards) will display the distinctive No Room For Racism branding.

NRFR LED boards and big screen at Tottenham Hotspur

Players will again be showing their unity against all forms of racism at all matches by taking the knee before kick-off.

They did this on the opening match round of the season, during previous No Room For Racism fixtures in October 2022 and at the matches immediately after the FIFA World Cup.

This action is in line with the decision taken by club captains before the start of the season to do so at key moments of the season rather than before every match as was the case in previous seasons.

Michail Antonio and Kevin De Bruyne take the knee

The Premier League’s Chief Executive, Richard Masters, reiterated the significance of No Room For Racism and welcomed the progress being made by the League and clubs. 

“Tackling discrimination and increasing diversity within football is of huge importance to the Premier League and our clubs,” Masters said. “The No Room For Racism Action Plan has brought together the League’s longstanding work in this area, as we strive to make the game more inclusive, and I am glad to see that progress continues to be made against all the key areas of the Action Plan.

"However, there is more that can and will be done to instigate significant change.

“We conduct a wide range of work to deal with the issue of online abuse and to ensure our stadiums are welcoming to all. We will continue to make it clear to everybody that discrimination of any kind will not be tolerated in any environment.

"We also know that football benefits from greater diversity across all areas of the game. The initiatives we have introduced are designed to develop pathways for under-represented groups. We will continue to progress these, as well as working on new programmes, to ensure even more opportunities are available for people from ethnically diverse backgrounds.”

"We will continue to make it clear to everybody that discrimination of any kind will not be tolerated in any environment"

Premier League Chief Executive Richard Masters

Sheffield Wednesday manager Darren Moore is also the Chair of the Premier League Black Participants’ Advisory Group (BPAG), which was launched in 2019 with current and former players and managers to ensure that the views of players and coaches from minority backgrounds were heard.

“After two years of the No Room For Racism Action Plan, it is encouraging to see that progress continues to be made in the fight against discrimination and that there are more steps being taken to diversify the game to ensure players and coaches from under-represented groups can thrive within football,” Moore said.

Darren Moore, SHW manager

“I am also happy to see initiatives being put in place to help former players who aspire to taking on executive roles in the game. We know that football benefits from the incredible diversity we all see on the pitch and there is no doubt that is the case off the pitch as well. More has to be done to ensure these pathways develop and we see more diverse representation in prominent positions within football. 

“Everybody has a responsibility to build on the work being done. Whether that is reporting incidents of discrimination or educating young people about equality and inclusion, we all have a role to play in demonstrating there is no room for racism.”

What's happening off the pitch to tackle discrimination and promote diversity?

There has been a variety of activity taking place behind the scenes since No Room For Racism started in March 2019 to bring together the League’s existing work against racial discrimination.

The No Room For Racism Action Plan that was launched a year later is embedded across all Premier League activity. The Plan has broken down the areas of action into six “key pillars”, which then allow for progress in those areas to be charted and shared.

NRFR two-year progress graphic v2

Below, we go into more details on each of those six pillars and the progress that has been made.

Action Against Racism

Embedding equality

Executive pathways

Coaching pathways

Player and match official pathways

Supporting communities

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