When you think about the images of football you grew up with, what do you see? Do you ever think about whether those images reflected who actually plays and watches the game?
It is the most natural thing in the world to kick a ball or to enjoy competition. People, ALL people, have been following their passion for football for centuries.
And, although this is changing, for a long time dynamics in society dictated what football ‘looked’ like.
Equality, Diversity and Inclusion isn’t a vague theoretical concept, it’s active understanding of our beautifully diverse world and dynamic allyship to ensure that reality is reflected, that we are all represented and included. It pays homage to the courage and determination of all the women who were ridiculed and banned, all the fans and players who endured racism, all the footballers and supporters who felt they had to hide their sexuality or gender identity, to anyone who has encountered physical or social barriers to playing or watching football. We all carried on, with a ball at our feet or singing ourselves hoarse in the stands. Look around you, we have always belonged to football and football belongs to all of us.
Sarah Jana Choonara, Rainbow Blades member