The Premier League is today announcing a two-year update on its No Room For Racism Action Plan, which was launched in February 2021.
This precedes two match rounds (11-19 February) when all Premier League fixtures are dedicated to No Room For Racism. During this period, the League and clubs will send a clear message that discrimination will not be tolerated in football or wider society, as well as demonstrating how diversity across all areas of the game makes it stronger.
The update shows that progress has been made against all six pillars of the Action Plan, with targets set to ensure this momentum continues.
New initiatives have been introduced to embed equality and increase diversity throughout the game. This includes programmes to develop coaching and executive pathways, to ensure there are more opportunities for people from ethnically diverse backgrounds.
Combatting discriminatory abuse both at matches and online remains a priority for the League. The League’s online abuse monitoring system – which since 2020 has supported players who have suffered discriminatory abuse – has been made available for all Premier League clubs to utilise on their websites, providing a method for fans to report racism.
There is continued proactive work with social media companies and authorities to address the issue of online abuse. This includes running online monitoring programmes, filtering tools and helping to develop artificial intelligence systems to better detect and remove abusive comments.
Premier League Chief Executive Richard Masters said: “Tackling discrimination and increasing diversity within football is of huge importance to the Premier League and our clubs.
“The No Room For Racism Action Plan has brought together the League’s longstanding work in this area, as we strive to make the game more inclusive, and I am glad to see that progress continues to be made against all the key areas of the Action Plan. However, there is more that can and will be done to instigate significant change.
“We conduct a wide range of work to deal with the issue of online abuse and to ensure our stadiums are welcoming to all. We will continue to make it clear to everybody that discrimination of any kind will not be tolerated in any environment.
“We also know that football benefits from greater diversity across all areas of the game. The initiatives we have introduced are designed to develop pathways for under-represented groups. We will continue to progress these, as well as working on new programmes, to ensure even more opportunities are available for people from ethnically diverse backgrounds.”
Players will once again be showing their unity against all forms of racism at all Premier League matches between 11 and 19 February by taking the knee before kick-off, as they did on the opening match round of the season, during previous No Room For Racism fixtures and at matches immediately following the FIFA World Cup. This is in line with the decision taken by club captains before the start of the season.
Chair of the Premier League Black Participants’ Advisory Group and Sheffield Wednesday manager Darren Moore said: “After two years of the No Room For Racism Action Plan, it is encouraging to see that progress continues to be made in the fight against discrimination and that there are more steps being taken to diversify the game to ensure players and coaches from under-represented groups can thrive within football.
“I am also happy to see initiatives being put in place to help former players who aspire to take on executive roles in the game. We know that football benefits from the incredible diversity we all see on the pitch and there is no doubt that is the case off the pitch as well. More has to be done to ensure these pathways develop and we see more diverse representation in prominent positions within football.
“Everybody has a responsibility to build on the work being done. Whether that is reporting incidents of discrimination or educating young people about equality and inclusion, we all have a role to play in demonstrating there is no room for racism."