In the summer of 2015, Kick It Out launched a public consultation to gathering knowledge on how to shape its future work at the grassroots level.
The consultation provided players, coaches, referees and parents with an opportunity to offer their thoughts and experiences of participating in the amateur game.
Kick It Out has used the findings of the consultation to shape its future work with the grassroots level. You can read the results below.
People involved with football at the grassroots level have suggested leagues could do more to combat discrimination, according to a consultation undertaken by Kick It Out, football’s equality and inclusion organisation.
Kick It Out’s Grassroots Consultation provides a snapshot of opinions of key personnel at that level of the sport – namely coaches, parents, players and referees.
Sixty three per cent of players, parents and coaches who completed the consultation believe that leagues do not do enough when it comes to eradicating discrimination from their games.
The consultation also revealed that 39% of referees felt they did not receive enough support when submitting a report of discrimination to their local grassroots football league.
Other areas of grassroots football that were looked into included witnessing, reporting and challenging discrimination as well as the impact of Kick It Out at the amateur level.
When it comes to challenging discrimination in the grassroots game, the consultation, which closed in December 2015, revealed that 84% of respondents suggested they would be comfortable in challenging discriminatory behaviour.
Half had witnessed discrimination at grassroots level, while 22% have themselves been a victim.
The organisation’s work at the professional level has been well documented since its inception in 1993, but there is recognition that more needs to be done to make a substantial impact and improve the game at grassroots level. Kick It Out will be intensifying its approach at this level of the game moving forwards.
Lord Herman Ouseley, Kick It Out Chair, said: “The professional game has improved the way it deals with discrimination reports and hate crime, but there is still much to progress at grassroots level.
“Those playing the game at grassroots level need more support and Kick It Out intends to lead in this area.
“Football cannot ignore increasing prejudice in society and there’s a duty to make it a safer place for future generations.”
Almost half – 47% – did not feel Kick It Out had a noticeable impact on grassroots football, with 86% of respondents suggesting this could be improved by getting more players, coaches and clubs involved in the organisation’s initiatives.
Troy Townsend, Education and Development Manager, added: “It is my belief that leagues and County FA’s need to do more to challenge discrimination going on at grassroots level and I’m glad that the consultation has revealed people actively playing a part in the game feel the same.
“The consultation shows a positive message in the fact that people are not afraid to challenge discrimination if it happens but they certainly need to know more about the work Kick It Out does and the procedures for reporting incidents.
“Kick It Out will be more proactive at grassroots level and the organisation will consider these results as we look to spread the message of equality and inclusion for all in football, regardless of level.”