Colour Blind: LFC Against Racism
A film inspired by murdered black teenager Anthony Walker - and backed by Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard - is now available to watch for FREE online.
Colour Blind, which was directed by comedian Lenny Henry and stars many famous Merseyside actors, premiered at Anfield last month in front of family and friends of the 18-year-old, along with the Liverpool skipper.
The 20-minute drama was inspired by the 1970 comedy-drama Watermelon Man and shows a racist white family turn black for the day.
"As a parent myself, I think we've all got responsibilities with our own children to make sure that they are taught the right lessons," said Gerrard after watching the film for the first time.
"It was a really good film. It was very powerful. That's the best idea because the message needs to be put across as early as possible.
"I think we are moving in the right direction as far as racism is concerned but we have to stay on top of it and keep drilling the message into people and society as a whole.
"We are all proud of our city and rightly so. We have got a fantastic city and that makes it even more sad when things happen like what happened to Anthony Walker.
"It was probably even more shocking to me because it happened in Huyton, where I'm from, and that's one of the reasons why I'm supporting this film. We need to make sure nothing like this ever happens again."
From Gayle to Babel: The Black Contribution to LFC
On Monday October 27 2008, Liverpool FC premiered a one-hour documentary celebrating the contribution of black players to the club's success story as part of October's Black History Month at FACT cinema.
Featuring revealing interviews with a host of stars describing their experiences as a black player from the 1970's through to the present day, the documentary brings together Anfield's first black footballer Howard Gayle, together with contributions from John Barnes, Emile Heskey and Ryan Babel amongst others.
"The documentary shows pride in our diversity and celebrates the work of these footballers and the impact they've had at England's most successful football club," claims Rakesh Daryanani, Diversity & Inclusions Officer at LFC. "We'd like to thank all those who contributed to the documentary and Merseyside Black History Month Group for their full support."
Liverpool Football Club condemns racism in any form - either on or off the pitch.
Should you witness any acts of racial abuse or behaviour likely to cause offence please report it to the nearest steward or alternatively you can telephone free on the clubs Anti-Racism Incident Line on 0800 298 4999
Supporters can also report incidents to the Kick It Out Incident Line on 0800 169 9414
Racism at football matches may not be as widespread as it was when John Barnes was first blossoming as a player in the 80s but it still exists - just ask Momo Sissoko, for example, the target for unforgivable racist abuse while playing abroad.
If you are the target for racial abuse or hear or see someone making racist comments or gestures at a football match, you should immediately report it to your nearest steward or police officer.
Racist abuse at football matches is against the law so the police and stewards can take action. Anyone found guilty of racist behaviour at the match can be ejected from the ground, arrested or even have their Season Ticket taken off them for life.
Racism is the belief that because people are a different colour, or from another country or part of the world, they are inferior but racist behaviour also includes threatening, abusing or insulting a person because of their colour, race, nationality or creed.
John Barnes, a target for racist fans when he first joined Liverpool, insists that racism is a problem in society not just football and has called for all fans - particularly white fans - to make a stand if they hear racist abuse from supporters whether they're watching Liverpool home or away.
"If you look at the Civil Rights marches in America in the sixties, the biggest impact of these marches was the fact that there were white people marching against racism with Martin Luther King," insists the Liverpool legend. "So if you are in the stands and you hear racism, you say something about it. If the reaction is from a white person I think that it will hit home harder that what they are doing is actually wrong."
Liverpool Football Club has long been working hard to eradicate racism at Anfield and in January 2006 these efforts were recognised when it was awarded the Preliminary Level of the Racial Equality Standard for Professional Football Clubs.
The RES sets out a number of measures in a framework document to encourage and support the development of racial equality practices at professional clubs.
The Standard developed by 'Kick It Out' and backed by football's governing bodies formalises a Club's commitment towards ensuring that spectators, players, management and staff are able to work within an environment that is free of discrimination and encourages community accessibility.
The Standard consists of three levels of achievement:- PRELIMINARY, INTERMEDIATE and ADVANCED and each of these cover three area's of activity which must be supported by relevant evidence and then verified by an independent accreditation panel. To successfully achieve each of these levels the club must demonstrate the following:-
The Club will have demonstrated a commitment to racial equality by producing a written equal opportunities policy and a race equality plan for all areas of activity.
The plan which will be monitored shall include an assessment of the Club's current supporter base, community development targets and clearly defined guidelines for dealing with incidents of racial abuse.
The Club will have demonstrated clear improvements in its levels of service as a result of monitoring, consultation with local ethnic minority community groups and implementation of its action plan. The Club must be able to show clear evidence of how it has implemented its equal opportunities policy.
The Club will be an exemplar in the way that it encourages the participation of ethnic minorities at all levels of the Club and within all areas of its business activities, encompassing employees, supporters and communities.
Having already the achieved Preliminary Level, Liverpool Football is now currently working towards the Intermediate Level.
Racism has no place at Liverpool Football Club. We're bigger than that.