An overview of Show Racism the Red Cards work over the past two decades
by Sam Doyle
In the twenty years that have passed since Show Racism the Red Card was founded by a group of Newcastle United Fans the charity has grown and evolved beyond all initial expectations. What started as a small operation in a crammed Whitley Bay office, now has four branches across the UK The rate of growth attests both to the importance of the campaign and the strength its message and delivery.
Show Racism the Red Cards Mission Statement:
‘’Show Racism the Red Card is an anti-racism educational charity. We aim to combat racism through enabling role models who are, predominately but not exclusively footballers to present an anti-racist message to young people and others. We achieve this through: Providing educational resources. Developing activities to encourage people, including young people, to challenge racism. Challenging racism in the game of football and other sports’’
This message has found great resonance with young people and adults alike. We would like to thank all the members of the education teams who, over the years have delivered nearly 1300 club events to young people, teachers, offenders and Union staff across the country. Year after year we receive
wonderfully positive feedback from young people and adults, commenting upon the enthusiasm of delivery the relevancy of the material and the truly educational and engaging nature of the workshops.
‘’I have learnt that racism is a very serious thing, no one should have to put up with it. You should not judge a person by what they look like, you should judge them by who they are and not make fun of them’’ :Matthew, Primary School pupil, 2009
Such a positive message in both delivery and feedback has been evident ever since our first year in operation, in which we visited around 1500 young people in the North East. We have since delivered educational workshops at football clubs, schools and other venues to a hundreds of thousands of young people. Combine this with all those who have participated in the popular Schools Competition Show Racism the Red Card has engaged with over 450,000 young people. Such a huge number demonstrates the relevancy of our campaign and the societal impact it has had over the past 2 decades. To have engaged directly with so many young people means there is nearly half-a-million young people and now adults who are aware of the dangers of racism in society and the positive social impact diversity, education and awareness can have.
‘’Brilliant! Showed the video to the whole years of 7,8 and 9. Very positive outcome and was well received by all the kids. A number of pupils later reported others being racist. Now the school has a yearly programme based on the resource pack!’’: J Blackall, Teacher, 1999
So much racism and prejudice is born out of misinformation, far right propaganda and lack of critical thinking. Show Racism the Red Card tries to ensure young people across the country do not fall victim to this legitimises our core mission.
‘’The SRtRC resources were an absolutely fantastic tool to enhance the children’s learning. It turned a potentially boring lesson in the classroom into a lesson that the children thoroughly enjoyed and more importantly learned from’’:James Walsh, Teacher, 2003
This focus on the importance of education in fighting racism, has led us in more recent years to target those who help mould and guide the next generations -teachers. Teachers make up a large part of the c45, 000 adults we have worked with, their feedback and support has been overwhelmingly positive, which drives us forward to expand our message to more and more people.
None of this brilliant work could have been achieved without the agency of professional football. The authoritative platform that top clubs provide for the delivery of such an important message cannot be underestimated. The message only strengthened by the wonderful support shown by clubs and players across the country.
As the media so often like to remind us top professional footballers are role models to hundreds of thousands of young people across the country. Yet unlike the media we have found players take on this role with great enthusiasm, respect and success. We have worked with over 700 professional players at club events, football training days and awards ceremonies. We would like to extend our thanks to all players who have been involved in the campaign, you have played a pivotal role in engaging young people, providing a personal and effective face to face experience about the effects of racism. We would like to extend a special thank you to all those players (current and former) who have worked closely with Show Racism the Red Card since its inception many of whom are now patrons.
Similar thanks has to be extended to all the clubs, some 170 have worked with us. Providing a location for our vital educational events, prizes and gifts for the national schools competitions and the players who are so important to the impact of our anti-racism message. Again an extra-special thanks must be extended to all those clubs who have gone the extra mile over the years and been inducted into our hall of fame.
Show Racism the Red Card continues to educate and innovate even in these challenging times for the third sector organisations. Racism is a strong adversary which rears its ugly head in many different forms. Yet we have learnt a lot since our inception- how to adapt to the changing face of racism, the best way to deliver our message and the groups and areas who need our message most. Our fight has moved online to combat the rise of a social-media based racial discourse which poses such a threat to all our work. Young people engage with football and media in ways that was unconceivable 20 years ago and we and our colleagues, as always, must work with them on their level and through mediums they find relevant.
With such a strong history and network across the country, we are confident that we are winning our battle against racism and will continue to do so. We ask you, and the half-a-million plus people we have worked with to join us and continue to Show Racism the Red Card.