Hammers back Kick It Out

West Ham United have again shown their support for the Kick It Out initiative to rid football of racism and discrimination
West Ham United have again shown their support for the Kick It Out initiative to rid football of racism and discrimination.

The Hammers welcomed young leaders from the West Ham United Foundation to Chadwell Heath, where present and former Kick It Out Ambassadors Carl Jenkinson and Carlton Cole joined them for an informative and entertaining session.

Kick It Out Education and Development Manager Troy Townsend gave a presentation on the subject of racism and prejudice in football and the work being done to eradicate them, before Jenkinson and Cole took questions from the floor.

Jenkinson, who is one of Kick It Out’s ‘Next 20′ generation of young footballers spreading key messages of equality and inclusion, praised the organisation and the outstanding work being done to make football a more comfortable and enjoyable environment for all concerned.

“It was a really good event and was good to get to know the young boys and girls from the Foundation,” the right-back confirmed. “They are nice people and it was a nice event for me and Coley to take part in.

“The aim of Kick It Out is to kick racism and discrimination out of football and I think us talking to the young people and building a relationship with them only helps to reach that target. They have the same aim as us as players so if we can work together and spread that message it can only help.

“I was asked to become a Next 20 ambassador and Kick It Out is a campaign that I could relate to and have known about since I was a kid, so it was really nice to be asked. I will help out whenever I can.

“As a football player these days, we have a lot of power to spread messages to people, so it’s up to me and the other 19 ambassadors to work to eradicate something that shouldn’t be in the game.

“My message would be to not stand for it. There are enough avenues to follow now to stamp it out and that is an area that has come on massively in the last 20 or 30 years. You are not alone, because there are people there to help you and get those guilty punished and get this out of football.

“You should not have to stand for it, so please report any prejudice you happen to experience and that way it can be dealt with.”

Cole, who previously served as West Ham’s Kick It Out ambassador and has long spoken out against prejudice in football, said the issue was being stamped out in football, but there was still more work to be done.

“It is right that everybody is taking action and, like Jenko, I would encourage anyone who experiences discrimination to report it and the perpetrators will be punished,” said the England international.

For more information about Kick It Out and how to get involved in the fight against racism and discrimination, please click here.