Millwall Football Club has a long and proud history of combating discrimination of all kinds both inside its stadium and within its local community.
‘Millwall For All’ - the club’s anti-discrimination body - was set up in 1994 and was the first organisation of its kind at an English football club. Since then, and year after year, Millwall For All, Millwall Football Club and Millwall Community Trust continue to work as one in order to ensure that the club is inclusive, diverse and family-friendly.
The Lions also maintain close links with Kick It Out and Show Racism The Red Card in order to share ideas and best practise, as well as carry out new initiatives and programmes. The latter, for example, host an annual workshop event at The Den, teaching hundreds of young attendees about prejudice and challenging discrimination, which has helped the club enter the educational charity’s Hall of Fame. Millwall were also the first EFL club to achieve Kick It Out’s Intermediate Level Race Equality Standard award in 2010.
Millwall are committed to leading on anti-discrimination measures and initiatives in the football industry and continually offer advice and guidance to other clubs, as well as being open to feedback and suggestions for further enhancement and improvement.
Hear Hate, Don’t Hesitate
The club launched its ‘Hear Hate, Don’t Hesitate’ campaign in February 2019. The initiative, which includes a video from players and management updated ahead of every season, was designed to promote a phone number - shortened in summer 2019 - which fans could use to report any incidents of hate or abuse by text or call. In receiving information the club can then take immediate action to ensure that The Den continues to be a safe, secure and enjoyable environment for all supporters.
Hear Hate, Don’t Hesitate marketing is available on all platforms, including LED and static advertising boards, the big screen, the matchday programme and throughout stadium concourses and toilets.
Fan Diversity Scheme
Anyone found guilty of discrimination at The Den is issued with an immediate ban. However, the club believes that education for people with such views is important and that exclusion alone is not the answer. As such, individuals or groups whose behaviour does contravene the club’s policies on the matter are offered the opportunity to attend Millwall For All’s ‘Fan Diversity Scheme’.
The nine-week programme is made up of several different elements including defining discrimination, understanding different cultures, stereotyping, conflict arising from negative behaviours, team-building, communication and organisational skills and much more.
Participants also undertake investigative work that looks into the cultures of ethnic minority footballers, which is aimed towards developing an understanding of multiculturalism and how the football industry is a shining example of its benefits to society.
The scheme teaches those involved more about demographics, geography and history and aims to dispel myths about minority communities.
Work with schools
Millwall Community Trust deliver anti-discrimination workshops in schools throughout Lewisham, Southwark and other surrounding Boroughs.
Working with pupils aged between eight and 16, sessions - which are both classroom and physical activity based - aim to:
- Educate young people about the causes and consequences of discrimination and the various forms it can take
- Empower participants to challenge discrimination in the communities in which they live, providing them with relevant knowledge and information to enable them to do this
- Help the students to prepare to play an active role in increasingly multi-cultural societies and communities
- Enable young people to develop good relationships and respect the differences between people, regardless of background, gender, sexuality and more
Students take part in a range of visual, auditory and physical activities designed to build empathy and understanding and to encourage discussion and critical thinking.
The club supports the workshops with visits from first team players who discuss the challenges they have experienced in their lives.
EFL Equality Code of Practice
Millwall were awarded with the EFL’s ‘Equality Code of Practice’ in 2015/16 and The Lions have retained the award every season since.
The EFL Code of Practice was devised as part of their commitment to the English Football Inclusion and Anti-Discrimination Action Plan. It helps clubs to position themselves at the heart of their communities by embedding the fundamental principles of inclusion and equality throughout the whole of the business, setting accountability at the highest level.
The EFL works closely with clubs to ensure that all spectators who attend games enjoy their matchday experience in a safe and friendly environment and throughout the three divisions clubs continue to work hard to set high standards for equality in professional football.
Clubs are evaluated across all levels of their operations, including matchday and non-matchday actions and initiatives, Community Trusts, youth development schemes and by way of fan surveys.
Millwall was the first to pass such assessment and continues to meet and surpass industry standards for employees, supporters and all those associated with the club.
Our Biggest Match
In December 2019 Millwall hosted 'Our Biggest Match' - a conference arranged by the club which brought together delegates from throughout football, including the governing bodies, to discuss and debate the sport's anti-discrimination policies and initiatives.
It was the first such conference of its kind and was also attended by Kick It Out, Show Racism The Red Card, Fans For Diversity and members of the national print, radio and broadcast media.
It is the club's ongoing hope that such a meeting can become an annual event where everyone in attendance can share best practise and ensure a united approach against discrimination from all appropriate football bodies and organisations within the game.
Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Code of Practice
In December 2020 the club and its Community Trust started the first-ever audit of Board members, staff, volunteers and participants as part of an ongoing commitment towards equality, diversity and inclusion in all areas of operations.
An internal survey was sent to all appropriate stakeholders and its findings allowed the club to set necessary benchmarks as part of a new widespread and multi-faceted anti-discrimination strategy. Included within that was the formation of an Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Code of Practice to cover departments throughout the club’s activities and recruitment processes.
The above initiative will help to ensure the entire Millwall workforce is fully representative of its diverse local community.
United For Change
Ahead of a Championship fixture against QPR at The Den in early December 2020, the club released details of its new 'United For Change' initiative. The campaign - which remains very much an active part of the club's efforts in this area - aims to unite everyone in the battle against discrimination of all kinds.
Millwall players posed with opposition teams behind a United For Change banner before a handful of fixtures from the moment of the campaign's launch until early 2021.
Equality Steering Committee
In January 2021 the club announced the formation of its new 'Equality Steering Committee' - a team of Millwall and Community Trust employees, fans and external advisors brought together to drive all initiatives, projects and strategies relating to all the above.
The Committee continues to meet on a monthly basis with all members responsible for actioning differing tasks or objectives in between.
The overall aim of the Committee is to ensure that the club remains an industry leader when it comes to combatting discrimination within the sport and also to ensure that its environment is diverse and inclusive.