Wycombe Wanderers defender Joe Jacobson supports Kick It Out event
Wycombe Wanderers defender, Joe Jacobson, joined Kick It Out to deliver an educational workshop for pupils Chiltern Way Academy on Thursday (16 November).
The workshop, led by Paul Mortimer, Kick It Out’s Professional Players Engagement Manager, engaged the pupils around key issues such as diversity, discrimination and celebrating difference, as they were encouraged to ask challenging questions and address their own misconceptions.
For Jacobson, supporting Kick It Out at the event was an important cause, particularly as education is a cornerstone of the organisation’s mission to tackle discrimination.
“I think people need to be educated in what Kick It Out do,” he said. “I think there’s still racism, antisemitism, sexism and other discrimination in football and Kick It Out are there to educate people not just in the game, but also in schools as well.
“I think (considering) how young people are brought up, what they read or watch in the media has an influence on them, so we need to be able to tell these students what’s appropriate and what’s not, and how to deal with that.”
Jacobson is Jewish himself, and was able to reflect on his experience of faith and football with the group, in particular discussing the negative impact that the use of the Y-word can have.
The pupils responded well to the discussion and were keen to learn more about subjects such as discrimination, engaging in an honest debate about what language is acceptable and what is offensive.
Kick It Out’s Mortimer, who is a former Charlton and Aston Villa Winger, emphasised the importance of education when it comes to tackling discrimination on and off the pitch.
He said: “It’s important for us to work out what young people understand discrimination to be, listening to their experiences, and assist them in improving their awareness of reporting. We help them to better recognise incidents that are discriminatory, and understand their own behaviour and the impact it may have on people in their environment.”
Reflecting on the afternoon, Murtaza, a Chiltern Way Academy pupil who took part in the session, said: “I enjoyed learning about how footballers experience racism and discrimination during matches, and what I learned here I could use in the real world as well.”