Danny Lynch, Head of Communication at ‘Kick it Out’, says it is difficult to monitor racism at the grass roots of football.
Lynch visited LCC to talk to Sports Journalism students about the work of the ‘Kick It Out’ campaign.
It aims to end racism and bring equality to football from grass roots to a professional level.
‘Lets Kick Racism Out Of Football’ was originally born in 1993 and from there ‘Kick It Out’ was established as a re-branded organization in 1997.
The campaign is a charity but is supported by some of the games governing bodies including The Football Association (FA), the Premier League and its founding body – the Professional Footballers Association.
Lynch talked at length about the recent incidents surrounding Luis Suarez and John Terry which have been huge talking points. “It’s been a very busy six or seven months, we’ve certainly been in the eye of the storm.
“With the Suarez and Terry cases we were getting calls from all over the world about it, from South America, Israel, America, Russia. It was really unfortunate that those two incidents happened in the middle of our campaign, when we should be at the forefront of people’s minds.
“These cases threw up lots of questions ‘Do the clubs take this seriously?’ and ‘Are the players bothered?’”
Hard to monitor
It is easy to try and keep tabs on these cases on a professional scale. The problems come on a smaller scale at grass roots level when it is near impossible to record and deal with any allegations of racial abuse.
“The grass roots games are hard to monitor, in a Premier League anyone can hear anything. But down at Hackney Marshes for example if someone doesn’t report it, the FA can’t act.”
Its aim of reducing racism is easier said than done, “the campaign has no power to give out sanctions, we concentrate on educating people about anti-racism and the role we play.
“When Kick It Out first began there was a real lack of confidence in the FA to act on racism, now I think Kick It Out has gained the confidence of football to help”.