As part of the WHUISA Equality Charter we say we “Are committed to making a real difference by … Treating all with respect regardless of: Age, disability, gender reassignment, sexual orientation, pregnancy and maternity, marriage and civil partnership, race, religion or belief, sex.”
And it was with a sense of real pride Treasurer Kevin Hind and Secretary Debbie Donovan were able to attend the first ever Fans for Diversity Conference organised jointly by the Football Supporters’ Association and Kick It Out.
The event took place on Friday, 20th September and was hosted by former West Ham player Anwar Uddin and Maria Horner the FFD Campaigns Officer.
The headline was the proportion of reported incidents of discrimination increased between the 2017/2018 and 2018/2019 seasons.
Officers Louis Bamgboye and George Chambers from Kick It Out reported racially and religiously motivated incidents were up 67 per cent and 97 per cent respectively.
Even allowing for fans having an increased confidence around reporting incidents this would appear an alarming statistic, especially as the Premier League accounted for 44 per cent of all reports across the English Football League and Non-League.
Delegates were reminded of the ways they can report incidents of discrimination:
Hind and Donovan were also interested to hear from Sophie Cook, the first transgender woman to work in the Premier League.
The Bournemouth photographer spoke of the mental illness she experienced before her transition in 2015 and how when she came out to club manager Eddie Howe he responded by asking: ‘What can I do to make this easier for you?’.
The photographer stressed football has a unique position in society to make change by gatting into parts of society that other people cannot reach.