NewsLFC joins Fenway Sports Group and the UN to help combat hate speech through sports
Liverpool FC joined parent company Fenway Sports Group in partnership with the United Nations and the Eradicate Hate Global Summit to help counter hate speech and hate-fuelled extremism through the power of sports.
Representatives from the club joined many others across the world of sport and beyond at a recent gathering in Boston. It follows on from a similar inspiring and engaging event held by LFC at Anfield earlier this year, attended by more than 100, including Alice Wairimu Nderitu, the United Nations special advisor on the prevention of genocide.
Nderitu was also in attendance in Boston and said: “Countering hate speech is a priority for the United Nations, and we want to create a global movement that teams and athletes can use to carry the anti-hate torch.
“Sports is a powerful unifier that is both personal yet also universal and shared. We believe it can make a difference for fans to hear their favourite athletes, teams and leagues speak with a unified voice condemning hate-fuelled extremism.”
Fenway Sports Group partner Linda Henry also attended and added: “For over a year, Fenway Sports Group has been working alongside the UN and the Eradicate Hate Global Summit to activate and connect the global sports community to this important work.
“The unspeakable acts of violence and cruelty that special advisor Nderitu and her team at the UN seek to combat have their roots in hate speech – something we all have the power to help address.
“The global sports community wields tremendous influence that can shift viewpoints and attitudes and our goal is to help the special advisor by using the power of sports to break through to communities in a way that transcends borders, languages and cultures.”
Rishi Jain, LFC’s director of impact, who led the event at Anfield, said: “It’s vitally important for the club to continue its work alongside the UN and Eradicate Hate Summit, and to sit alongside our colleagues from FSG, to show the wider commitment to this aim.
“It’s also great to build on the work done in the April summit, where over 100 people from across UK and US sports came to Anfield in this unified cause. We’re proud to be part of the Eradicate Hate Sports Working Group and to be able to use our influence on a global scale through The Red Way and our Red Together programme.”
FSG gathered members of the Sports Working Group in Boston, bringing together representatives from the region’s professional sports teams, universities and non-profits.
In addition to members from FSG’s sports teams (Boston Red Sox, LFC and Pittsburgh Penguins), attendees included the Boston Bruins, Boston Celtics, New England Patriots, New England Revolution, Harvard University, Emmanuel College, Roxbury Community College and the Kraft Group’s Foundation to Combat Antisemitism.
The event hosted by LFC in April at Anfield included representatives from Premier League clubs and football authorities, and several major UK and US sports teams, including Formula 1, Lawn Tennis Association, Major League Baseball, National Football League, National Hockey League, NASCAR, Rugby England and Rugby Football League.
“The Sports Working Group’s strength lies with its incredible partners,” said co-chair of the Sports Working Group and the Eradicate Hate Global Summit, Laura Ellsworth. “The global reach and influence of the UN and the expertise and urgency of the Eradicate Hate Global Summit are a great foundation, but without our friends at Fenway Sports Group, who have introduced us to sports contacts around the world, this effort would not be as strong or impactful.
“We encourage sports organisations who want to be part of this critical effort to join us at this year’s Eradicate Hate Global Summit in Pittsburgh to ensure our effort can reach as many different communities as possible.”
The Sports Working Group will convene at this year’s Eradicate Hate Global Summit, taking place on September 27-29 in Pittsburgh. Organisations and individuals can register to attend here.