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The Voice and Kick It Out team up


WHILE THE VOICE was marking its 10th anniversary in 1993, another important organisation in the fight for equality was born – Kick It Out.

Originally called ‘Let’s Kick Racism Out of Football’, the anti-discrimination group was set up by Lord Herman Ouseley with support from the Commission for Racial Equality, the Football Trust (now known as the Football Foundation) and the Professional Footballers’ Association.


Football in England had been given a boost by the national team’s performance in Italia ‘90 spearheaded by Paul Gascoigne, Des Walker and Gary Lineker. Paul Ince was soon to become the first black player to pull on the England captain’s armband. And Keith Alexander became the first full-time black manager in the English league for more than 20 years when he took over at Lincoln City.

But on and off the field, racism was still a significant problem which blighted the game. If you were Black or Asian and involved in football, there was a strong chance you’d be abused, harassed or even assaulted.

Fast forward to 1997: the organisation became simply ‘Kick It Out’ – tackling all forms of discrimination in football – and was now supported by The FA and the Premier League.

As chair of the organisation, Lord Ouseley wrote to all 92 professional English clubs explaining what Kick It Out was doing and how they could support it – they received
just five replies.

Despite an inauspicious start, Kick It Out will mark 25 years of campaigning for equality in football this year by reflecting on the achievements of the football community over the last quarter of a century, while also addressing the considerable challenges that remain: why are there so few BAME managers across all levels of football? Why so few women in positions of authority in the game? And why is there so little transparency and data available to support these arguments?

Throughout next season, Kick It Out and The Voice will stand shoulder-to-shoulder in promoting and sharing an honest conversation on how best to tackle discrimination in all aspects of the game we love.


There will be debates, conferences, university scholarships and events at your local club as well as with the England national team.

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