SAN FRANCISCO, December 24, (THEWILL) – Serie A outfit A.C. Milan, has publicly launched a new manifesto that aims to draw attention to common ills around the game of football and seek ways to eliminate them.
The “manifesto for equity, diversity and inclusion” includes a range of initiatives that outline the Italian club’s commitment to fighting against all forms of prejudice and discrimination in the sport. With this, they aim to educate the new generation of fans and to shape the culture of their supporters, while also desiring to reach people outside of their fan base.
Inclusive of an accompanying “RespACT” programme, the manifesto will be centred around goals such as “raising awareness, education, prevention and collaboration” with regards to prejudice and discrimination.
Shedding more light on the novelty, Milan CEO Ivan Gazidis, said: “It’s not just important for us, it’s important for everyone in the game.
“We, like many clubs, are doing a lot of good work in this area over a long period of time. The reason we’re launching a manifesto and calling it ‘RespACT’, the emphasis is on the act piece, this isn’t about hashtags, or about virtue signalling, it’s about solid actions the game can take to continue to improve our response to societal issues we have and take leadership to address those issues.
“[We aim] to provide an example to encourage others in the game to do the same, like equity, diversity, inclusion, actions they can all take in their own spheres and collectively, collaboratively in a positive way taking incredible steps forward.
“As much as football reflects the problems in society and issues we have in society, it also has been a force for good, incredible examples of people from all different backgrounds, ethnic backgrounds, every colour, gender, every aspect working together.”
Outlined in the manifesto are a number of key events where Milan will promote the campaign, including the Derby della Madonnina on Saturday, February 20, which will be promoted as the ‘Derby Against Racism’.
Speaking further, Gazidis said the progress from their initiatives will be made over time and will also aid the performance of clubs, organisations and institutions over the long term.
“Success is progress. I don’t think we’ll reach a conclusion where our job is done. Society has deep-seeded issues we have to continue to work on,” he explained.
“Those issues will change over time as society changes, as we develop and progress, there will be more issues we need to face, an important part of this journey is talking about it, being aware of it. This isn’t just an issue of social injustice, but it’s also an issue of performance.”
This comes at a crucial time for the fight against discrimination and prejudice in the world. Protesters against the racially-charged killings of victims of police violence like Breonna Taylor and George Floyd amplified the voices of the Black Lives Matter movement in the US which called out racism in America that they claimed became bolder under the presidency of Donald Trump.
Gazidis concluded: “If you have prejudice, your performance is impeded, you are creating self-inflicted barriers to your own progress. So good football clubs, good organisations, good institutions fight everyday to eliminate their own prejudices so they can perform better.”