Kick It Out staff included in Football’s Black List
Two members of Kick It Out’s staff, alongside the co-chair of the organisation’s young ambassadors group, feature in the 2017 Football Black List.
Troy Townsend, Kick It Out’s Education Manager, and Jehmeil Lemonius, the organisation’s Professional Game Administrator, are both included in the Football Black List, an initiative celebrating black individuals within British football.
Troy, who is included in the Practitioner’s category, leads on Kick It Out’s mentoring series – Raise Your Game – as well as the Equality Inspires programme, run alongside the Premier League, which works with young players at football clubs’ Academies.
Jehmeil features in the Ones To Watch category. He helps to deliver a number of initiatives that help spread the messages of equality and inclusion. Outside of work, Jehmeil plays for Stonewall FC and coaches London Romans.
Tyra Ali Ntege, who also features in the Ones To Watch category, is the co-chair of A.S.P.I.R.E. – Kick It Out’s young ambassadors group. They provide Kick It Out with a youth perspective on the organisation’s work. Tyra plays for Crystal Palace Ladies’ Development team and has been influential in A.S.P.I.R.E since its inception in February 2016.
England striker Jermain Defoe has been recognised in the Football Black List – an initiative celebrating influential black individuals in British football – for the compassion and care he showed towards Bradley Lowery, as the youngster bravely battled a rare form of cancer.
The initiative, founded in 2008 by sports journalists Leon Mann and Rodney Hinds, highlights positive influencers from the black community in the sport.
A judging panel of experts from the community and football industry looked at a long list of nominations before deciding who made the final list. The panel included representation from the Premier League, The Football Association, Professional Footballers’ Association and Kick It Out.
Others on the Football Black List include Brighton and Hove Albion manager, Chris Hughton, for achieving promotion to the Premier League, Louise Sutton, the boss of BBC Sport’s Final Score programme, Rio Ferdinand, for his wide ranging activities in media and business, and Paul Elliott CBE, who has recently been appointed to The FA’s board.
This year’s list, published in The Voice Newspaper, also shines a light on deserving people working at the community and grassroots level of the game who often go uncelebrated.
Joining those unsung heroes on the list are Manchester City’s Yaya Touré, for his donation to the victims of the Manchester terrorist attack, Arsenal and England Women’s Alex Scott MBE, for her highly impressive media work, Derby’s Nick Blackman for his charity work in Barbados, and Chelsea’s Michael Emenalo for the highly influential role he plays at the champions. Professional footballer, Joe Thompson, makes the list for sharing his inspirational successful battle with cancer through the media – to show others you can beat the illness.
The Football Black List provides an opportunity to reflect on the diversity within the industry, while also facilitating discussions surrounding how best to address the under-representation of people from African-Caribbean backgrounds.
The list recognises people across seven categories:
Media, Administration, Coaching and Management, Commercial, Community, Players (Off the pitch) and Practitioners.
There is also a ‘Ones to Watch’ category, recognising those whose current activities look set to springboard them onto even greater accomplishments in the future.
A celebration bringing everyone on the list together to receive awards is planned for later in the year.
Leon Mann, co-founder of the Football Black List, said: “The Football Black List has gone from strength to strength over the years and we are proud of how it has developed into an initiative that can play a role in helping increase the diversity of those working in the sport.
“We are delighted to have the support of the community and the football industry to help shine a light on the leaders in the black community who are inspiring the next generation of a hugely under-represented group in the game.”
Rodney Hinds, Sport and Features editor of The Voice Newspaper and co-founder of the Football Black List, added:
“The Voice Newspaper is very proud to be the home of the Football Black List. It has helped to give so many in the community some much deserved praise for the outstanding work they are doing.
“It has been great to see the support we have got for the list grow and I am delighted to have co-founded such an important initiative.”
Source: Football’s Black List