West Ham United are pleased to announce the club has been awarded the preliminary level of the Racial Equality Standard.
The important initiative, which has been developed by Kick It Out with the support of the Premier League, will help West Ham United to promote equality in all areas of the club's operations, such as stewarding to the recruitment of young players. Kick It Out director Piara Powar will present the club's Chief Executive Scott Duxbury with the preliminary Standard at the final home game of the season against Aston Villa on Sunday 11 May.
The club are proud to be part of a specialist group of elite clubs that have achieved this award but recognise more can be done. There are three levels overall to the Standard with the club already looking to secure the Intermediate stage before working towards the Advanced. West Ham United have long worked alongside Kick It Out to deliver against a series of objectives that promotes racial equality at all levels of the club's administration - such as backing the One Game, One Community week last October.
West Ham United CEO Scott Duxbury said: "As a club that sits proudly in one of the most ethnically diverse areas in Europe, the Racial Equality Standard is an important step in the development of our work against discrimination. The preliminary level is just the start of formalising what is an on-going commitment and we are proud of the work we have done in this area to date. However, we recognise that more can be done to ensure that we play a full and effective role in tackling discrimination at all levels."
Anton Ferdinand, the club's Kick It Out Ambassador, said: "I am right behind the efforts being made to promote equality through football. There is so much more that can be done but this is a good step in the right direction. On behalf of the players, we all take this issue very seriously and are proud to support the work of Kick It Out. Football has so much influence and any way we can spread the anti-racism message has got to be applauded."
Kick It Out chairman Lord Herman Ouseley said: "Our achievements so far should make us proud but they also provide stimulus for tackling exclusion and inequality. We believe the Standard could herald a new era in encouraging clubs to ensure that off the field of play equality of opportunity, inclusion and fair treatment are at the heart of what they do." Richard Scudamore, Chief Executive of the Premier League, added: "The Premier League is proud of the contribution its clubs have made in tackling racism in football. We all have a responsibility and a part to play in helping to put the Standard into practice."