Manchester United have launched their new anti-racism campaign, SEE RED, which aims to confront the scourge of racism and discrimination in the game.
SEE RED builds on the work by the club is already undertaking in its long-standing All Red All Equal anti-discrimination programme. It features a thought-provoking video which challenges United fans to think – ‘Without diversity, who would we be?
What would the club’s history books say?’ It highlights Andrew Cole’s title-clinching goal against Tottenham in the Treble season, Jesse Lingard’s cup-winning screamer in 2016, and Marcus Rashford’s injury-time penalty in the comeback against PSG among great Manchester United moments which could not have happened without diversity and the immeasurable contribution of black and Asian players to the club’s history.
It is great to see the club challenging racism but it may be seen as a little clumsy. If Cole hadn’t scored the goal to win us the league in 1999 or Lingard hadn’t won us the FA Cup in injury-time, would the racism our Black players endure on social media following almost every game be justified?
Regardless, it appears as though the repeated assertion that racism is wrong simply because it is wrong is not hitting home with some supporters, so the club has gone with a different approach.
The campaign also encourages fans to take responsibility for reporting incidents of racism or other hate crimes, to speak out and to stand up for those who may be on the receiving end of discriminatory abuse.
Richard Arnold, Group Managing Director, has explained the motivation behind the new campaign.
We are proud that players of all ethnicities, religions and nationalities have pulled on the Manchester United jersey over the years. We challenge our fans, and indeed fans of every club, to watch this and think about their own favourite memories, their top teams and their most celebrated players. How different would those memories be without the diversity of some of the best players in the world who have graced our game and our club?
Sadly, footballers across the country continue to receive abuse online, seemingly without fear of censure. United has been, and always will be, a club for all. We do not believe real fans are racist and today, we call on those fans to join us in the battle against discrimination.
It is not good enough for us all to sit silently on the sidelines when we see or read racist remarks or behaviour. Inaction has a consequence. We must call it out. We must not tolerate it. If you see it or read it – report it.
🔴 We 𝗿𝗲𝗮𝗱 the comments.
⚪️ We 𝗵𝗲𝗮𝗿 the abuse.
⚫️ We 𝗳𝗲𝗲𝗹 the hatred.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) April 2, 2021