There is still more work to be done in the fight against racism as football’s No Room for Racism campaign can be a catalyst for an increase in racist abuse during Black History Month.

This is according to CJ Williams of the Anthony Walker Foundation, who believes the positives of raised awareness of racial equality through football is often met with some negative displays of abuse.

He said: “It increases awareness, promotes useful conversation and promotes community cohesion. However, it would be remiss of me not to mention that we sometimes see an increase in online abuse and racist graffiti.”

Black History Month has been marked by the return of Premier League players taking the knee before kick-off in support of the Black Lives Matter campaign. These displays are witnessed by a global audience of 1.4 billion people with the reach of the Premier League making it a perfect advocate to help tackle racism. Within Liverpool, there are 22 players each weekend wearing the message which is promoted to 90,000 fans on either side of Stanley Park.

The Anthony Walker Foundation was established in 2006 after the racially motivated murder of Anthony in Huyton. Chief Operating Officer Williams says that the promotion of such initiatives, while helpful, can still draw unwanted attention and has placed more demand on the foundation’s services in Merseyside.

“In recent years, demands for our Hate Crime Support services increased exponentially. Exacerbating factors include suspicions about the source of COVID, the fact that three black players missed penalties during the Euro final, international migration due to war, and the current financial climate.

“Sadly, a small number of people use these issues to stir up social unrest, xenophobia and racism. As such, we welcome any initiative to educate and reduce the harmful effects of race hate. The Premier league’s initiative during BHM is one such initiative.”


The engagement by the Premier League in promoting Black History Month is significant as it has not only a global reach but also a very strong and visible impact on local communities.

Said Williams: “I am a firm believer that education is the antidote to hate. However, at this time of year, the demands upon our service increase, partly due to the Premier League raising awareness.

“We work closely with Everton in the Community and Anfield Sports & Community Centre to deliver inputs to young people. We can only do this by partnering with agencies like M&S Bank, Merseyside Police and Crime Commissioner and Triprint (St Helens), who sponsor and support us.”

Everton and Liverpool who combined have over 20 different nationalities represented in their squads are pivotal pillars in the community. Through continued engagement with groups including Anthony Walker Foundation the hope is that the ripple effect, from the fans present at the game and watching at home, helps to promote the message of eradicating racial hatred from football.