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Mark Devlin’s message on diversity and inclusion

Chief Executive reflects on Brentford FC values as Kick It Out reaches landmark

15 August 2018

As you may be aware, Kick It Out is celebrating its 25th anniversary this summer. I would like to congratulate Lord Ouseley and his team on reaching this landmark. The changes they have worked hard to achieve during this time have been spectacular.

Sport – and especially football – can bring people together in a way that nothing else can. It also has the power to bring positive social change and harness the spirit of human beings. At Brentford, we are experiencing unprecedented success, and with a positive future to look forward to, the mood is optimistic in every area of the club.   

However, stepping outside of football it may feel to some that society is more divided and the nature of public debate is more aggressive than ever. Yet, as fans of Brentford Football Club we are one family, and it is fundamental to our values that everyone should be made to feel welcome as supporters of this Club. 

Brentford is proud to represent every part of our diverse community and is one of the most inclusive and welcoming clubs in the country. I suspect there is only a tiny minority who would not share our view that we welcome and include anyone, regardless of their race, religion, gender or sexuality.  For those that don’t share these views, we will not compromise on our values: We don’t want you at Brentford if you can’t accept that or if you behave in a manner which is incompatible with these values.  

To the vast majority of our fans who agree with us, and find hateful behaviour based on any form of discrimination abhorrent, we would encourage you to use any of the reporting mechanisms if you see or hear racist, sexist, homophobic, or other behaviour of hate or division. In the first instance we would encourage you to report it to any of our matchday stewards if you can. Collecting immediate evidence gives us the best chance to remove anyone who does not meet our values. Fans can also phone Kick It Out 0800 169 9414, send an email to info@kickitout.org or contact Kick It Out on social media - Twitter @kickitout or www.Facebook/kickitout/official.  

We will thoroughly investigate such incidents, and any behaviour from any individual or groups which is calculated to divide our fans and community or cause trouble within Griffin Park will be dealt with appropriately.  

I genuinely believe being inclusive and welcoming is an important part of what will make us unbeatable, and the team that everyone in our community will be proud to support and be associated with. 

Mark Devlin


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