Let's Kick Homophobia Out of Football

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Let's Kick Homophobia Out of Football

United Kingdom
Organization type: 
nonprofit/ngo/citizen sector
Budget: 
$100,000 - $250,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Homophobia is a common problem at all levels of football, from parks and grassroots football through to the professional. Kick It Out would like to raise awareness of the problem with a film aimed at youngsters. The film will contrast the idea that much of the homophobic language that is still seen as acceptable within a football environment would not be acceptable in any other walk of life.

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

One of the games biggest conundrums is the complete absence of any openly gay footballers. According to the 'Leagues Behind' survey, three in four fans think there are gay players currently in the Premier League or Championship and seven in ten think there are gay players in Leagues One or Two. Yet, out of over 2,000 professional players in this country alone with thousands more worldwide, not one has declared himself openly gay. In addition there’s a worrying trend in the pervasiveness of homophobic chanting aimed at both players and opposing supporters. Incidents involving Sol Campbell, Ashley Cole and the regular taunting of Brighton and Hove Albion supporters, an area with one of the country’s largest gay communities, has put this in sharp focus. Much of this chanting is seen by many fans simply as terrace 'banter' and don't see the damage it does not only to the perception of the game, but also how it may prevent gay players and fans openly declaring their sexuality.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

Although many films have been made in order to draw attention to a particular subject within the game, none have been made about this topic and aimed squarely at youngsters. Kick It Out has found during previous work that educating youngsters is a key tool in sidestepping problems around discrimination later on in life. Homophobia is a particularly sensitive subject but one the organisation strongly feel needs to be highlighted. By taking advantage of its standing within English football, Kick It Out feels in a position to access high profile players who would appear in this film and help achieve the overall objective. Links with professional clubs would be capitalised on to ensure the film is played in football stadia, therefore reaching a diverse and large audience, and those that exist in government, to ensure the film is given to teachers to use in the classroom, therefore reaching the target audience. Football has sucesfully challenged racism and hooliganism with high profile campaigning work. The fight against homophobia has been a longer burn exercise. In the Leagues Behind survey on homophobia in English football, it was revealed that half of football fans think the Football Association, the Premier League and the Football League are not doing enough to tackle anti-gay abuse, only three in ten believe they are doing enough already. Sport is one the last great bastions of homophobia, and football is one of the least gay-friendly of all sport. Many involved in the game arent homophobic, but its widely considered there exists a homophobic hardcore.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

Kick It Out is football's equality and inclusion campaign. The organisation was formed in response to a wholesale problem of racism towards black players that blighted the game during the 70's and 80's. It was the early 90's that saw some of the game's leading individuals, spearheaded by Lord Herman Ouseley, former head of the Commission for Racial Equality, form the 'Lets Kick Racism Out of Football' campaign. It went full time in 1997 and in 2010, is as well known and high profile as ever. It's annual 'One Game One Community' weeks of action campaign engages every professional football club and over 1,000 activities from the football family and grassroots and community groups, bringing them together and building sustainable and lasting local partnerships. Kick It Out generates over £1million worth of media coverage during this period helping to raise awareness of work and promote inclusion in sport locally and nationally. Over almost 20 years of community work Kick It Out has built long term relationships with individuals and within communities, being leaders in our field. Kick It Out works closely with footballs governing bodies and influence their policies and activities around inclusion and under representation in the game. The network extends to government through the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and Sport England but also to other more legislative bodies such as the Equality and Human Rights Commission. Kick It Out has recently received three years worth of funding from the Commission for a youth mentoring project, to bring more young people from under represented communities into the game and mentor them to achievement and therefore develop role models from those communities.
About You
Organization:
Kick It Out
Visit website
Section 1: About You
First Name

Alison

Last Name

Vaughan

Organization

Kick It Out

Country

, LND

Section 2: About Your Organization
Organization Name

Kick It Out

Organization Phone

00 44 207 684 4884

Organization Address

Unit 3, 1-4 Christina Street, London, EC2A 4PA

Organization Country

, LND

Your idea
Country your work focuses on

, XX

Innovation
Do you have a patent for this idea?

Impact
Actions

Kick It Out is working with many professional clubs on the Equality Standard framework which looks at clubs' equality and diversity issues including a section on sexual orientation. It works with a range of gay rights organisations such as Stonewall, the Gay Football Supporters Network and the Justin Fashanu Campaign, on engaging with the game's gay community nationwide.

In addition, kickitout.org serves as a resource to promote news stories about homophobia, interesting initiatives from both the UK and abroad, and how people can get involved in helping Kick It Out raise awareness of the problem.

Results

Kick It Out now plays a central role in the football authorities' fight against homophobia in the game. It sits on the FA's Tackling Homophobia working group and a TUC led alliance and on another group formed by the European Gay and Lesbian Foundation. This collective work highlights the problem on a domestic and European level. Kick It Out actively supports gay rights groups using football to raise awareness about the problem and make the game a more welcoming and safe environment for gay players, administrators and fans. Kick It Out has held a high profile event during each of its last two One Game One community weeks of action campaigns, one at the former FA HQ in Soho Square and one at Brighton Hove Albion FC to scrutinise some of he issues around homophobia and the role the organisation could play in tackling it.

What will it take for your project to be successful over the next three years? Please address each year separately, if possible.

Year 1
The film would be distributed to professional clubs to play on big screen inside stadia. To maximise the impact of this, screenings would be coordinated carefully to cover two weekends of fixtures in order for the clubs playing at their home stadium to ensure added publicity appears in matchday programmes and on websites. Clubs will also be encouraged to use the opportunity to promote local community organisations already working to reduce homophobia in football and sport more generally for vital local context. Based on average Premier League attendances alone the film would be expected to reach approx 800k people during this fortnight.

The film would distributed to all 92 professional clubs complete with notes and guidelines on how to use it effectively, such as classroom based activities for apprentice players, or ‘scholars’. Feedback from these sessions will be gathered in order to measure effectiveness.

Year 2
The next phase would be to ‘roll it out’ into the education sector. According to the Teachers Report survey in 2009, 94% of staff say that they have never received any formal guidance on how to deal with issues around homophobia. This indicates a real issue in how the topic is dealt with in the classroom but in turn, presents an opportunity for the film and a bona fide ‘space’ for it to be used in this environment. The success of Kick It Out’s education work has centered on using football, the game itself and the high profile players involved, as a way of talking about diversity. This approach would be used here, with a bespoke education pack produced in close consultation with teachers, educationalists and relevant bodies.

Year 3
Using the tactics outlined in years one and two, the film would be used at European and international level. Kick It Out is a founder member of FARE (Football Against Racism in Europe) and would use these networks to ensure the film is taken into global institutions that deal with diversity, equality and inclusion.

What would prevent your project from being a success?

If the film was produced and not taken on board schools, this would represent a failure of sorts. However, in order to prevent this from happening, close consultation would take place with some of the key agencies within the education sector (DCFS, Ofsted etc) to help at the briefing stage.

Another factor would be a public 'backlash'. The sensitive nature of the topic may result in dissenting voices. To sidestep this, full and open dialogue would take place prior to scripting and production with a range of groups and individuals relevant to the topic and who could add value and critical analysis.

In addition, the Kick It Out 'brand' is well established as a leading force in this arena. Many would appreciate these steps being taken as a given in order to deliver the topic in a responsible manner.

How many people will your project serve annually?

More than 10,000

What is the average monthly household income in your target community, in US Dollars?

Less than $50

Does your project seek to have an impact on public policy?

Yes

Sustainability
What stage is your project in?

Operating for less than a year

In what country?

, LND

Is your initiative connected to an established organization?

Yes

If yes, provide organization name.

Kick It Out

How long has this organization been operating?

More than 5 years

Does your organization have a Board of Directors or an Advisory Board?

Yes

Does your organization have any non-monetary partnerships with NGOs?

Yes

Does your organization have any non-monetary partnerships with businesses?

Yes

Does your organization have any non-monetary partnerships with government?

Yes

Please tell us more about how these partnerships are critical to the success of your innovation.

Kick It Out is football's equality and inclusion campaign. This means the organisation works across football, professional and amateur, but also with NGO's, charities, businesses and government.

For example, an organisation called NADS (National Association Disabled Supporters) sits on this board. They are able to offer insight into the world of physically disabled supporters which is an important area for the campaign.

In addition, this can be applied to the Metropolitan Police's Football Unit, an organisation that can provide crucial information around supporter behaviour in relation to racial abuse at football grounds and help identify any trends the organisation needs to be mindful of.

In addition, links in the education sector will see the film successfully rolled out into schools. As a member of FARE (Football Against Racism in Europe), Kick It Out can use its European and international links to ensure the film is given a worldwide audience.

What are the three most important actions needed to grow your initiative or organization?

1. External funding
Like many organisations, funding is key to Kick It Out. The film proposed would need significant financial backing for it to have he global impact intended.

2. Support of high profile players
The cyclical nature of the game means new footballers are also being sought to act as role models and carry key campaign messages. One of Kick It Out's roles is to identify these players to carry the baton of ambassador.

3. Support from non-UK organisations
The problem of homophobia isn't just confined to the UK. Its a worldwide issue. Kick It Out believes this film can have a tangible global impact.

The Story
What was the defining moment that led you to this innovation?

Kick It Out's initial film on homophobia was aimed at adults, predominantly males who attended football matches and got involved in homophobic chanting and not fully understanding the damaging impact it had on players and fellow supporters. The language used in the film was blunt, hard hitting and at times coarse. This meant the final product was unsuitable for schools. After much consultation with a range of organisations and individuals, it became clear this was an opportunity missed and a film aimed at schools could have greater impact as the problem was as prevalent in the playground as it was on the terraces.

Tell us about the social innovator behind this idea.

This was borne partly out of witnessing the rise of social media in viral campaigns. As an organisation with keen interest in new marketing trends, Kick It Out has witnessed the effectiveness of this. Quality video content, with correct tagging and intelligent distribution online has tremendous power to reach wide audiences.

How did you first hear about Changemakers?

Personal contact at Changemakers

If through another, please provide the name of the organization or company

Renata Affonso