Will Nightingale and Paul Kalambayi have shown their support for the Kick It Out campaign, as the club prepares to spread a vital message on Saturday.
The home match against Peterborough has been designated as our Day of Action for Kick It Out, which aims to stamp out discrimination of all forms.
Players will be wearing Kick It Out T-shirts on Saturday and supporters from both clubs will be encouraged to raise banners on the referee’s whistle before the game. Footballers from the club’s Education and Football programme will also be holding up banners when the players walk out onto the pitch.
Jane Lonsdale, Diversity and Inclusion Lead on the Dons Trust Board, said: “For the Peterborough game, we’re doing quite a bit more than what we normally do. The DT have been doing quite a lot in recent years on Diversity and Inclusion. We set-up a working group on this a couple of years ago and I am chair of that group. We’ve introduced a few initiatives in the last few years. We’ve held Women at the Game events, where women who had never been to a match came along and we’ve got another of those events coming up.
“We’ve introduced free sanitary products into ladies’ toilets. We also introduced a poster campaign last season, which highlights giving all discriminatory abuse the boot. It has a phone number in case a supporter hears any abuse at a game, so that this can be dealt with quickly.”
Jess Barnes, Chair of the Disability Supporters’ Association at AFC Wimbledon, said: “It’s obviously something that we do every season, but it’s more paramount now because racism has been featured in the media due to incidents at high-profile games. I think we can promote Kick It Out in more ways than just wearing the T-shirts by really highlighting the Day of Action.
“We have a zero tolerance at the club for discrimination. The club will clamp down on any discrimination, not just racism. We are involving the fans to highlight any incidents of discrimination, so that they can report any incidents that they come across.”
Will Nightingale said: “We are delighted that AFC Wimbledon are supporting the Kick It Out campaign this weekend for our game against Peterborough United. Do your bit to give discrimination the red card.”
The posters urging supporters to report any discrimination that they hear at games contain a contact number for immediate action. Supporters can call or text the match day control room on 0770 464 9119.
Take a look below at a video featuring Will, Paul, Jane, and Jesse.