On Thursday 19th October, Southend United hosted an educational event for young people from local schools, run by Show Racism the Red Card which featured first team players Harry Kyprianou and Jermaine McGlashan, who answered questions about racism and hate crime...
Pupils from Prince Avenue and St Mary’s Primary Schools came to Roots Hall to take part in workshops exploring racism and stereotypes and what hate crime is, before the panel Q&A in the afternoon.
The event is part of a series of fifteen educational events with football clubs in England to educate about hate crime as part of a project supported by Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG), which will also include educational work in schools and teacher training.
In January 2017, Communities Secretary, Sajid Javid announced SRtRC (Show Racism the Red Card) would be one of four projects to offer education to encourage the reporting and prevention of hate crime.
Announcing the funding he said “Let me be clear. Hate crime has no place whatsoever in British Society. We will not stand for it. All communities must be able to live their lives free from fear of verbal or physical attack.”
The project will build on the government’s work detailed in the Hate Crime Action Plan to challenge the misperceptions that lead to hate crime and support victims from marginalised communities to stand up and report incidents.
Southend United have worked with the campaign consistently over many years to educate about racism.
SRtRC Chief Executive, Ged Grebby, said “SRtRC can now build on our work to educate about Hate Crime with this project and it comes at a time when it is definitely needed. After the EU referendum, many police forces reported a spike in hate crime and hate incidents, a 41% rise in the month following the vote.
“Clubs like Southend United are helping us work with young people in a unique setting, listen to their views and educate about prejudice. We want to make sure if a young person experiences or witnesses a hate crime they know who they can turn to, but also to think about how a person could get to the point where they commit a hate crime.”
The event was rounded off with the Q&A which saw Kyprianou, McGlashan and Brown put in the hot seat as they answered the pupil’s questions.
One of the pupils from Prince Avenue asked if any of them had ever experienced racism before and if yes, what did they do about it.
Which Blues midfielder McGlashan answered with “I have experienced racism before, it was during an away game during my warm up. I headed over to one of the home stands and started to warm up with my teammates when I heard someone shout something derogatory at me. My teammates asked me if I heard it, which I replied yes too and then went to the club and reported it.
"The club did all they could to help, they looked at who brought tickets in the stand and even CCTV, but they couldn’t find the responsible person.”
Following the completion of the workshop, the pupils were given the opportunity to get their Show Racism the Red Card magazines and T-shirt's signed by Brown and the two players.
For those who with to find out more information on the work of SRtRD click here.