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Home   /   Speaking the unspoken: racism in non-league football. 

My target publication is The Athletic

The first-hand experience

This is an investigation by The Athletic into non-league football. The Athletic has spoken to a variety of people involved in non-league football to get to the bottom of the issue, racism in non-league football. In the first part you will hear from semi-professional footballers at non-league football clubs in the Vanarama National League South and Isthmian League Premier Division. Secondly, from a development and wellbeing officer of the Sussex FA and thirdly, Whitehawk FC’s first equality and diversity officer and a fan of Whitehawk FC. 

Jake Elliott[i], focused on his game, was unaware of the nature the comments towards him had. 

Elliott is 23 years old. He is a semi-professional footballer playing for Eastbourne Borough in the sixth tier of English football, known as the Vanarama National League South. Rewind three years, he was 20, playing against Uckfield as a right back for his second season at Peacehaven and Telscombe. 

It was Tuesday night at The Oaks, Uckfield Town FC home ground, and the floodlights beamed down on the pitch. Visitors, Peacehaven and Telscombe FC, were looking to snatch three points to push them further up the table in the Southern Combination Football League Division Two. The game was competitive from the start, with a few fierce tackles and early attempts at goal. 

As the match progressed, Elliott was racially abused by another player from Uckfield Town. The Athleticasked Elliott if there was anything that may have provoked the player to racially abuse him. 

“No, I don’t think so, initially I think he was trying to put me off my game and knock my confidence to use to their advantage, but then it progressed into racially abusing,” Elliott replied. 

“Initially, there was a corner, and he was saying ‘you smell’ and using profanity like ‘you smell of shit’, but at that point I didn’t regard it as racial abuse, I just thought of it as any comment,” says Elliott. “Then there was a free kick and he said to me ‘I don’t understand your language’ and how he could ‘help me get a passport to come into this country’.” This kind of racial abuse was new to Elliott, he is a talented player that his teammates, staff and fans liked very much. 

Uckfield proceeded to score the free kick to put the home side 1-0 up, midway through the first half. This was when it became apparent to Elliott and his teammates that the abuse was in fact racial abuse. 

“During the celebration he went on to perform monkey gestures and noises,” said Elliott. After the Uckfield player’s actions, he ran off and that is when Elliott and his teammates ran towards the referee. On this occasion Peacehaven suffered a 2-0 defeat to their opponents. 

“It went to the FA and we had a hearing, he got a two or three game ban because they said there was no video recording or sufficient evidence so it couldn’t be any more than that,” Elliott tells The Athleticwhen asked what sanction the player received. 

Elliott believes that in his case especially, the consequences given to someone who racially abuses a player are not harsh enough to deter others from doing it or that person repeating the same abuse. 

“When you put it into perspective, two to three games is the same as getting a straight red card for a bad tackle,” he tells The Athletic

The Premier League has far more coverage, CCTV and policing at football games then non-league. A suggestion that a lack of cameras could be a reason why racial abuse is harder to tackle at non-league level was made to Elliott.

“In the Premier League everything is caught on camera from the first to the last whistle or someone will hear it whether that be a player, staff or someone from the crowd so you are a lot more likely to get caught,” Elliott replied.

“It’s sort of your word against theirs.” says Elliott when comparing his own experience in non-league. This led him to believe that it is more difficult to hold someone accountable of racial abuse if no one apart from the player themselves has heard it. 

Drawing on Elliott’s comments, the lack of cameras at non-league grounds could be a reason for some players getting away with racism. Inews[ii]featured a special report on racism in non-league football about how there are no cameras and that players feel “powerless to effect change.” 

“Racism is a lot harder to prevent in non-league, it’s harder to prove. The problem you have is there’s no camera coverage,” Michael Johnson, now St Albans City FC goalkeeper, told inews. “It’s your word against theirs. From that moment you are in a predicament.” 

It’s apparent that many players feel the same way about cameras at non-league grounds. They feel that if there is no proof of themselves being racially abused, their claims lack weight and will get ignored. The player that racially abused Elliott received minimal sanction for their behaviour, due to a lack of proof. How is this helping players that are victims of racial abuse in non-league football? A lack of proof due to a lack of cameras is creating more of a problem because it is much easier to get away with it. 

The Athleticasked Elliott if he had any suggestions that professional bodies such as the Sussex County FA could put in place to try and stop racial abuse in football at a non-league level.

“They should start with harsher penalties and fines, if you are going to get a ban, make it a lot longer than two or three games so it has an effect,” says Elliott. “They could also introduce educational programmes around it as well to try and educate people on racial abuse.” 

In an attempt to uncover any similarities or differences, a second perspective was needed. Leone Gravata[iii], 20, has played at a professional level for Brighton and Hove Albion FC, but also at non-league level for Lewes FC and Eastbourne Borough. During a cup game whilst playing for Lewes, Gravata was subject to racial abuse from another player. 

“I was called the n-word by an opposition player after I won the ball from a good tackle,” said Gravata. “I don’t understand why, because it was a fair tackle and the referee didn’t even give a foul.” 

Unaware as to why an opponent racially abused him after committing a fair tackle, he continued to express his reasoning as to why some people are racist. 

“Some people just don’t care about the little consequences that come from being racist and the effect it has on some people,” says Gravata. 

The match officials were made aware that Gravata had been racially abused by another player, but in the days and weeks following the match there was no awareness of a sanction or match ban that had been given. An incident that should have been addressed and not left untreated. 

After playing football at professional and semi-professional levels, Gravata believes, similarly to Elliott, that it is much easier to get away with racism at a non-league level. 

“Most of the time there are no cameras to see these incidents,” he said. “I believe players at a non-league level are used to racism and don’t acknowledge it anymore.” 

Gravata had a similar outlook on the possible solutions that governing bodies such as the Sussex FA could do to try and stop racism at non-league level.

“Introduce lifelong bans for fans and players that are racist, zero-tolerance is the only way that racism can be stopped” he said. “A few match bans mean that they will get an opportunity to be racist again.” 

Upon review of both players’ comments, there appears to be a lack of education around racism. Furthermore, it is made apparent that people don’t consider the potential consequences before racially abusing someone and some may not be aware that their actions or behaviours are racist.

A zero-tolerance approach and educational programmes are the solutions that players would like to see made mandatory for all players or fans that are racist. The abusers need to be educated on the effects of racially abusing someone, racial terminology and to be reminded that there is no room for racism in non-league football. 

After looking into what football clubs at non-league level already have in place, The Athletic found a statement from the FA Alliance Leagues[iv]released in 2021 regarding ‘Taking The Knee’. They applauded the decision taken by the Premier League and EFL to allow players to collectively support individuals who wished to take the knee. “Taking the knee is an individual choice that many players wish to make as a way of peacefully demonstrating against racism, discrimination and injustice,” the FA Alliance League stated. 

“The Alliance Leagues have no objection to players, match officials and technical area occupants taking the knee at their discretion,” the statement reads. This was encouraging to see that there had been some evidence of protest at non-league football games that had been performed at a professional level. 

Ex-professional forward Marvin Sordell[v]believes kneeling protests should stop “when there is equality”. ‘Taking The Knee’ is a peaceful way of protesting equality, Sordell said “The only thing that will stop racism is racist people.

“Nobody suggested taking a knee is going to stop racism. What it does is it makes people stop, think and look at something. It puts a problem directly into their eyeline.” If you are someone that is likely to engage in racism and you see every player and fan at the ground kneeling in support of the action, the chances are you will abstain from racially abusing a player.  

The feeling that there needs to be a trickle-down effect almost becomes a cry for help. Players need help to try and stop racism in non-league football. Premier League games have every square foot of the spotlight covered, why can’t this happen at non-league games? It’s in the places with little spotlight, where problems like racism are allowed to fester. 

After reviewing Elliott, Gravata and other non-league footballers’ comments, The Athleticwanted to understand what the governing bodies are doing to protect and support players from black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) groups that get racially abused and face discrimination. It’s time the governing bodies take a much firmer approach towards racism, listen to what the players have to say and do everything possible to stop racism. 

The guardians at the gates 

‘Football For All’. The Sussex FA are committed to eliminating discrimination and racism from the game. Football is a sport played by many in the county of Sussex and it brings many people in the community together. 

“Racism divides these communities” says the Sussex FA[vi]. “We have a key role in actively bringing these people together, and challenging racism and discrimination to make football a game for all our players, coaches, referees, volunteers and employees.” 

After discovering the lack of support that Elliott received after being racially abused, understanding the support the Sussex FA provided to players after this experience was important. 

“I’ll be honest, it’s probably something we need to look at and review in terms of how we do as a county in following up there,” says Sean Lofting[vii], the Sussex FA’s development and wellbeing officer. He described the experience of being racially abused as “very traumatic” for some players and the main aim of the Sussex FA is getting these players back into football without being put off. 

“We probably need to look internally a bit more in terms of what we do afterwards,” said Lofting, admittedly. 

In 2019, the Sussex FA held their inaugural Equality Engagement Evening. After reflecting, they admitted that they need to do more, by listening to the experiences of players, coaches, everyone attending games and ensuring that they have a trustworthy and robust process in place for everyone to report racial abuse6

“Once a week our safeguarding and operations teams meet to discuss serious cases,” said Lofting. “Serious cases get dealt with and reviewed on a weekly basis with that process in place to ensure nothing slips under our radar.” 

Although weekly reviews to discuss cases of race discrimination take place, the Sussex FA said they need help from people that attend the games in order to tackle racial abuse. 

“Anyone attending matches needs to report racial abuse if they witness it,” Lofting said. “We can’t be at every match, so it relies on people to report racism, that’s the message we try to get across to everyone.” 

Despite admitting that they need to do more in terms of supporting players after experiencing racial abuse, the Sussex FA do have policies in place for each club to try and prevent racial incidents from happening. 

The Sussex FA have an Equality Charter Award scheme which aims to promote equality and inclusion at each football club[viii]. The scheme consists of three levels that encourage clubs to develop key components that strive towards equality and inclusivity within their community. It includes simple actions like signing up to Kick It Out, an organisation that works within football to challenge discrimination and encourage inclusive practices[ix]. The scheme also requires clubs to implement an Equality Policy, hosting specific equality workshops and to dedicate a weekend of games to raise awareness of race and homophobia.

Both Elliott and Gravata want to see the introduction of harsher consequences, they suggested longer bans, a zero-tolerance approach and mandatory educational programmes. Lofting agreed with the players. 

“In my honest opinion, the punishment is nowhere near enough to deter others from being racist. I think the constant debate about it is, is it proportional to other reasons why clubs and players are punished? You have clubs going into administration and getting massive point deductions, but racism, it’s like ‘ah, here’s a little fine’. I think a lot of people need education as well as handing out harsher punishments,” Lofting tells The Athletic

Every year Kick It Out publishes a summary of the reports of discrimination they receive throughout the season. The statistics prove that the consequences are not harsh enough to deter others from being racist and it needs to be addressed in order to make change. At the time of this investigation the 2021/22 season is still in effect, thus a report summary has not been published yet. Despite many games in the 2020/21 season not being played, the statistics for race discrimination were alarming. 

There were 66 cases reported in 2020/21, just a three per cent fall from the previous season which had 72 cases reported[x]. Compared to the professional game, there was an 89% drop from 282 cases of race discrimination cases reported in 2019/20 to 31 in 2020/21. The statistics show that in the season of 2020/21, there were 66 cases in non-league football compared to 31 in elite level, a staggering 53% difference. 

There was almost no difference in race discrimination cases reported between the two seasons at a non-league level despite far less games being played. After unfolding these statistics, the question is, why was there such a drop in the professional game but not the non-league game? The Athleticasked Lofting why this could be and what the Sussex FA could do to address this. 

“I think it was more difficult to give support and protection to players in non-league football compared to the elite level throughout the pandemic. The elite level clubs still had access to all the resources whereas non-league clubs didn’t. 

“It’s worrying to see those statistics. We need to continue with the campaigns and projects in place, see how they can be improved and ensure clubs are embedding equality with all they do,” says Lofting.

“The numbers are not an acceptable amount, every county FA, the FA nationally and groups like Kick It Out along with the clubs who affiliate in football, all need to be doing everything they can to bring that number down to zero. 

“That simply has to be the goal and it can’t be anything less than that,” Lofting added. 

Kick It Out also launched a YouGov poll involving over 1,000 football fans. Between January 2019 and December 2019, it was reported that 30% of participants had witnessed racist comments or chants during a football match. Additionally, approximately 50% of those in question mentioned that it was unlikely they’d report racist abuse directed at coaches, match officials and players at a game10.

“It’s very hard to change this statistic, but there’s a one size fits all answer to it. When people do report it, we need to amplify that message to show that these things do get followed up and taken seriously. Make sure it’s painted everywhere, put it on the front pages,” Lofting said in reply to the statistics from the Yougov poll. 

Elliott and Gravata suggested the lack of cameras and coverage at non-league grounds could be a potential reason why racial abuse can be more difficult to stop in non-league football. The Athleticasked Lofting what could be done about this. 

“The company called Your Instant Replay is filming more and more games across non-league football which I think is a positive thing. It makes it far easier for our disciplinary team at the County FA to be able to say ‘well, this is exactly what happened’. Then we are not having one word against another’s, we are having ‘here is the footage of what happened’,” says Lofting. In terms of solving racial abuse cases, having groups like Your Instant Replay would make it much easier. 

“I think that’s the challenge now, getting these companies to work around non-league football in Sussex and expanding on what they do. It would also act as a deterrent, I think far less people are likely to be racist if they know the game is being filmed,” Lofting added. 

Prior to the interview, The Athleticresearched new ways to eradicate racism at football grounds and found that Club Brugge have developed a new initiative this month, April 2022. 

In an attempt to combat racism in football grounds, Club Brugge will be introducing 24,000 QR codes, which will be placed around their stadium. This initiative will allow fans to report racist incidents anonymously from their smartphones. In addition, they are launching the new slogan ‘Not Wish Us’ to further enforce their campaign[xi].Black vests will also be worn by stewards who are specifically trained to identify racial behaviours during matches. If the initiative generates multiple responses and the reaction is positive, the new Pro League CEO Lorin Pares said “It will be applied to all matches of the national championship.”[xii]

The reporting system would be anonymous, overcoming the challenge of people not wanting to get involved. The Athletichighlighted this as a potential solution to racism at football grounds.

“It’s a fantastic idea. Although there are not as many seats at non-league grounds, you could put it along the touchline or on the railings around the pitch where people stand. A clear and anonymous reporting system would be really positive,” said Lofting. 

Lofting also implied that it puts on more pressure to report racist incidents if the way to do it is literally “staring them in the face”. 

In the Premier League, players still take the knee before every match unless they have chosen not to and there are the Black Lives Matter and No Room for Racism campaigns branded everywhere. 

“I think we can do a bit more to make sure this is the case in non-league football as well,” said Lofting.  

“If someone attends a non-league game and everyone’s taking the knee before kick-off, there’s banners on the sides of the pitch saying, ‘No Room for Racism’ and you look in your programmes to find QR codes to report racism, surely all those things combined with education for coaches and fans will make someone think twice about being racist. It might not stop every incident but would certainly prevent more.”

Lofting continued,

“The main thing for us is to work with our leagues and clubs whenever there are major programmes and campaigns. Making sure they’ve got the right support and resources there and the people running these clubs like the secretaries and the chairpersons are really noble on the subject of racism.” 

It’s clear that the Sussex FA are aware that a lot more can be done to try and stop racism in non-league football. The reporting statistics from Kick It Out’s annual summary need to be addressed and have solutions attached for the upcoming season and working closer with clubs is an aim. Lofting described the interview as “really helpful” and “an eye-opener” in making him realise there are still things the Sussex FA should be doing to fix racism in non-league.  

Whitehawk’s equality pioneer

The Athleticgot in contact with Kevin Miller, Vice-Chair and Commercial Manager at Whitehawk FC. After speaking to Kevin about my investigation he put us in touch with Sophie Cook[xiii], the club’s first Equalities and Diversity Officer. She took up the role at the beginning of the 2020/21 season, the Hawks 75thanniversary. The Equalities and Diversity role is an initiative designed by the FA to ensure that all clubs in non-league football are compliant with current relevant equalities and diversity standards[xiv].

Cook was questioned about the support that Whitehawk FC offer to their players that receive racial abuse. 

“One of the things we do is try to encourage the players that there is an open environment, and I am working hard to ensure that if they need to talk to someone, they can come to me or anyone at the club to create that open culture,” Cook tells The Athletic

Cook highlighted that they work on ensuring that everyone at the club “understands the values” which are painted on the steps of their stand: No Racism, No Sexism, No Violence, No Homophobia.

“It is something we are trying to get through all layers of the club” says Cook. The Whitehawk ultras play a big part in the culture and values at Whitehawk. 

“The values installed here are mainly encapsulated by our fans,” Cook said. 

The fans follow a strict no swearing policy at games and do not hurl abuse at match officials, something that you don’t see very often, which sets Whitehawk apart from other clubs at non-league level. Cook believes the values of the club have grown out of the “personal politics” and the “personal values” of every fan that attends matches. Once you get a group of people with similar points of view it attracts others to buy into what you believe in and eventually you reach “critical mass that starts to grow,” she says.  

In elite level football it’s more difficult to gain that critical mass because not everyone shares the same set of values. At a non-league game of several hundred people, if you have roughly 200 people that believe in the same thing, you have 50% of the audience. Whereas if you get the same number of people at a Premier League ground out of thousands in the crowd, the behaviours get noticed far less because they are spread over multiple stands. 

“I think real culture change happens in football when it’s bottom up and not top down,” says Cook. She thinks in some ways it is easier to make culture change in non-league, because although professional clubs have the resources to be utilised, it really requires it to be on a personal level. 

Jack Grey[xv]supports Whitehawk FC, he is a season ticket holder and has attended games regularly throughout the 2021/22 campaign. He has been a fan of The Hawks since 2020. Prior to becoming a Whitehawk fan, Grey supported Peacehaven and Telscombe FC but felt like he needed a change. After attending a game at Whitehawk, Grey understood the values installed at the club and wanted to be a part of their community. He described the feeling at home games as being “part of a family with a real culture.”

“At Whitehawk we get anywhere between 400 to 800 fans on a regular basis. It’s not thousands of people like you see at professional clubs.

“But the inclusion and equality here has stemmed from us fans because we want to do this and it has become part of our values at Whitehawk with the club focusing on it,” says Grey. 

The fans at Whitehawk sing ‘Football For All’ and chant the values they hold from the terraces during matches. Whitehawk are trying to act as an ambassador for other clubs to do the same and show that there are different ways of doing things. 

“The club respects what us fans are doing and instead of ignoring what we do, they made sure to embed this culture into what the club is about now,” said Grey. 

Another aspect Whitehawk are working on is looking at the bigger picture that they call the “whole game approach”. After looking at the equality standards for Premier League clubs, Cook said “Let’s hold ourselves to the same standard as Premier League clubs. 

“It’s really a set of values, just because they are up there and we are down here, it doesn’t mean we can’t hold ourselves to the same standards,” said Cook. Whitehawk are also working on the smaller details such as increased signage in certain areas and reporting channels for players who receive abuse. 

Football is a business at all levels. The main difference is that at non-league football clubs it is all volunteers and minimal paid workers. The volunteers are there for the love of the game and the club they work at.

“Since it’s volunteer based rather than a business that has a lot of resources to throw at things, we need to be more creative in non-league on how we bring about change,” says Cook. 

Drawing on the resources available to clubs at elite level, it is clear that this affects the type of support given to players that receive racial abuse. In the top leagues of English football there are more resources available, for example there are sports psychologists and various other professionals whose job it is to feed that information into the reporting system, whereas at non-league it’s volunteer based with less resources available to provide support.  

At elite level everything is in place to get the extra 0.1% out of every single player but at non-league this is not the case. Regardless of resources available, Cook would like to think that any club should care about their players and “do everything they can” to make the resources available to anyone who is subject to racial abuse. 

“It can’t be on one person, it has to be organisation wide to have the will and appetite to do the right thing in combating prejudice such as racial abuse,” she says. “I would like to think the PFA, Sussex FA or some other professional body could make that sort of support available for players.” 

Cook agreed that it is harder to protect players from racial abuse and hold someone accountable at a non-league level due to the lack of coverage and exposure. However, she believes that it comes down to the match officials and managers of each team taking the situation seriously and trusting their players when reporting such matters. 

“I think that it is more difficult to have the evidence because not every square yard of the pitch is being filmed,” says Cook. “It shouldn’t be left down to one player to be subjected to racial abuse and feel they have to fight it alone or they have been totally ignored, it’s a reporting process that involves everyone at the game.” 

Attaching a suitable punishment to the situation with less evidence makes that matter much harder, but Cook echoed Elliott’s point. 

“If there is little evidence, it becomes one person’s word against another’s which is never a good basis for any investigation.” 

This creates a problem when handing out punishments because with insufficient evidence there will be people on both sides of the argument saying the sanction is too lenient or too harsh. In a football match two players can be as close as touching, making it easy for someone to whisper racial comments into the opposition’s ear so the only person that hears the abuse is the victim. 

“I think it’s important we keep records, we know if there’s a pattern of this behaviour, we know if these things are happening regularly,” Cook said. She went further and suggested that she would like to see a “zero-tolerance outlook” for any abuse in football. 

“If you have repeat offenders you need to look at mandatory educational programmes,” Cook added. Addressing this type of behaviour is something Cook sees as very important. 

“Instead of football banning orders they use an educational programme to try and address what the issue was” Cook said. “If you apply a football banning order to someone for racially abusing a player, they will return to society and still be racist. Whereas if you use the fact that they actively want to carry on going to football to engage in anti-racism training and you are successful, they go back into society as an evangelist for anti-racism.”

An opinion piece by Kevin Anderson[xvi]in the Sussex Express focuses on how non-league football can lead the way in the fight against racism.

“When idiots can hide in a crowd, prejudice and bigotry begin to fester. But non-league football is the opposite of anonymous.” said Anderson. He highlighted that in local football “everyone knows everyone” and that “every face is familiar, every foible known, every word audible.” There is nowhere to hide if someone was to express a racist insult. 

A body of research expands further on Anderson’s comments, suggesting people who share the same views can change other people’s social norms and reduce their tendency to engage in racist behaviour[xvii]. The study implies that education is an effective way of fighting prejudice, highlighting that people with more education on racism express fewer stereotypes and prejudice. A change in a person’s beliefs only becomes habitual when the changes in their social norms support them. The research states that prejudice and discrimination flourishes in an environment when it is recognised as the norm, but they don’t exist when the existing social norms disapprove of it. 

If people are educated on racism and they believe racially abusing someone is wrong, they must confront it when it happens by reporting the incident to police, stewards at the game and Kick It Out. Along with educational programmes, Cook would like to see longer bans. It is important that each case of racial abuse is treated with “the weight it requires”. 

“It can’t just be brushed under the carpet and ignored, you can’t just hope for the best,” says Cook. 

Looking ahead into the 2022/2023 season, Whitehawk are planning to provide more support and protection for players.

“I want to make sure we have everything in place so that if a player does receive racial abuse, they have a clear reporting route and they know who to talk to and back them up,” says Cook. 

Bibliography


[i]Elliott, J. (2022) Interview with Jake Elliott. Interviewed by J. Masterton-Pipet for The Athletic, 24 March

[ii]Cunningham, S. (2018) ‘He came upto me and said, “F*** off you black c***”: Non-league footballers reveal shocking scale of racism in sport’s lower reaches’, Inews, 14 December. Available at: https://inews.co.uk/sport/football/racism-football-non-league-raheem-sterling-abuse-special-report-235553(Accessed: 2 April 2022).

[iii]Gravata, L. (2022) Interview with Leone Gravata. Interviewed by J. Masterton-Pipet for The Athletic, 19 April. 

[iv]The National League (2021) FA Alliance Statement | Taking The Knee. Available at: https://www.thenationalleague.org.uk/fa-alliance-statement-taking-the-knee-66867(Accessed: 4 April 2022). 

[v]Conway, R. (2021) ‘Why should I support violence? Answering the objections to taking a knee’, The Athletic, 3 June, Available at: https://theathletic.com/2244447/2021/06/03/taking-knee-football-racism-violence-marxism-blm/(Accessed: 6 April 2022).

[vi]Sussex County FA (2022) Black Lives Matter.Available at: https://www.sussexfa.com/news/2020/aug/18/black-lives-matter(Accessed: 23 April 2022). 

[vii]Lofting, S. (2022) Interview with Sean Lofting. Interviewed by J. Masterton-Pipet for The Athletic, 28 April. 

[viii]Sussex County FA (2022) Equality Charter Award Scheme. Available at: https://www.sussexfa.com/news/2022/mar/09/equality-charter-award-scheme(Accessed: 23 April 2022).

[ix]Kick It Out (2022) About us. Available at: https://www.kickitout.org/about-us(Accessed 21 April 2022). 

[x]Kick It Out (2020) Reporting Statistics. Available at: https://www.kickitout.org/pages/faqs/category/reporting-statistics(Accessed: 21 April). 

[xi]Sporting Life (2022) Club Brugge Place 24,000 QR Codes In Stadium To Combat Racism. Available at: https://sportinglife.ng/club-brugge-place-24000-qr-codes-in-stadium-to-combat-racism/(Accessed: 24 April 2022). 

[xii]Teller Report (2022) The fight against discrimination or the “squealer campaign”: how Club Brugge wants to eradicate racism in the stadium with the help of QR Codes. Available at: https://www.tellerreport.com/sports/2022-04-23-the-fight-against-discrimination-or-the-“squealer-campaign”–how-club-brugge-wants-to-eradicate-racism-in-the-stadium-with-the-help-of-qr-codes.SJXbM4RZB9.html(Accessed: 24 April 2022). 

[xiii]Cook, S. (2022) Interview with Sophie Cook. Interviewed by J. Masterton-Pipet for The Athletic, 28 March. 

[xiv]Whitehawk FC (2020) SOPHIE COOK IS OUR FIRST EQUALITIES AND DIVERSITY OFFICER. Available at: https://whitehawkfc.com/whitehawk-fc-announce-dr-sophie-cook-as-the-clubs-first-equalities-diversity-officer/(Accessed: 27 March 2022). 

[xv]Grey, J. (2022) Interview with Jack Grey. Interviewed by J. Masterton-Pipet for The Athletic, 9 April.

[xvi]Anderson, K. (2020) ‘How non-league football can show the way in fight against racism’, Sussex Express, 15 June, Available at: https://www.sussexexpress.co.uk/sport/nostalgia/how-non-league-football-can-show-the-way-in-fight-against-racism-2881703(Accessed: 4 April 2022).  

[xvii]Stangor, C. Jhangiani, R. and Tarry, H. (2022) Principles of Social Psychology – 1st International H5P Edition, Chapter 11, Available at: https://opentextbc.ca/socialpsychology/chapter/reducing-discrimination/  (Accessed 6 May 2022).

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