Brentford players Sergi Canós and Dominic Thompson explained football’s commitment to diversity and inclusion to local youngsters last week. The Spanish winger and former Arsenal defender joined more than 500 pupils online for a virtual diversity workshop for the Premier League’s Primary Stars project with Brentford FC Community Sports Trust.
Pupils quizzed the Bees players on the Black Lives Matter campaign, their own personal experiences of feeling excluded and how football can become more inclusive. The online event was part of a over 20 diversity workshops delivered across four boroughs in London.
Sergi, who has already been involved in promoting the Trust’s Show Racism the Red Card project, said: “In my role as a professional footballer, I know it’s important to use my voice to promote diversity and inclusion. I hope that by taking part in this workshop I have helped raised awareness of these topics to the next generation.”
Both players have already been recognised for their community accolades; Sergi Canos won the PFA’s prestigious “Community Champion” award last year and Dominic Thompson took part in a similar workshop last year. Their involvement in the workshop seemed to resonate with pupils from Rabbsfarm Primary.
Ruby Lane, Year 5 Teacher at Rabbsfarm Primary School, said: “The workshops were informative and well delivered. They gave the pupils a greater understanding of how and why footballers are supporting the Black Lives Matter campaign.”
Football has been showing solidarity against racial discrimination in a variety of ways since the summer and our players have joined in. They have worn t-shirts to share our #BeeTogether message, the Club's policy on diversity and inclusion, and have also taken a knee before kick-off at many games. Not Today or Any Day is the EFL’s anti-discrimination message and aims to encourage behavioural and attitude changes at all levels of EFL football and ensure that a zero-tolerance approach to discrimination is embedded throughout clubs, particularly at Brentford. Brentford players wear shirts with the logo on them as a further mark of the Club’s commitment to racial equality.
This follows a statement from the Club this summer further outlining our position on Bee Together. That can be seen here. The Club also released an updated video reiterating our stand against racism and discrimination. Under the #BeeTogether banner, the video features Brentford players, fans and staff, and stresses the importance the Club places on togetherness and unity. See it here. As part of Black History Month, the Club hosted a webinar to celebrate the contribution of black players and staff, reflect on some of the challenges we still face and discuss how we can work together to make a lasting and positive difference both at our Club and across the football industry. See more here.