This week we dedicate our fixture against Shrewsbury to the work of Kick It Out, football’s equality and inclusion organisation.
Since 1993, Kick It Out has worked throughout the football, educational and community sectors to challenge discrimination, celebrate diversity and inclusion, and campaign for positive change.
Despite the progress made since then, Kick It Out’s reporting statistics show that incidents of discrimination continue to increase and they cannot tackle the issue alone.
That’s why the organisation is asking for the help of supporters to report any discriminatory abuse they see or hear – whether that’s related to age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation – in and around Roots Hall today or in the future.
Throughout the 2018/19 season, Kick It Out will be raising awareness of the procedures in place for supporters to report any discrimination they witness or suffer at a professional game, non-league, grassroots or even online.
Kick It Out’s FREE reporting app, which can be downloaded on iPhone or Android, allows users to confidentially report incidents of football-related discrimination. The app also offers users the ability to attach video, photo and audio evidence to complaints to aid investigations into discriminatory abuse and behaviour at matches.
Aside from the app, discrimination can be reported to Kick It Out on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
It is recommended that users take screenshots of discriminatory posts on social media in case they are deleted before Kick It Out can file a report, and any report should preferably be sent to Kick It Out in a private message to ensure the safety of those reporting the incident.
These methods sit alongside the organisation’s well-established methods of reporting, including via email to email@example.com and Freephone on 0800 169 9414.
Kick It Out is not a regulatory body and is therefore not responsible for administering sanctions and punishments, but the organisation’s role is to raise the complaint with the club, The Football Association or relevant authority and then monitor the case to ensure appropriate action is taken.
Kick It Out will also offer support to those targeted by discrimination and can provide guidance as the complainant takes the case forward.
Southend United are fully behind Kick It Out’s work and in addition to its support in the matchday programme, the club will be promoting the organisation’s reporting app on social media, as well as through Kick It Out resources such as posters and warm-up t-shirts for the players.