AC Milan have launched a “manifesto for equity, diversity and inclusion”, which includes a range of initiatives outlining their commitment to fight against all forms of prejudice and discrimination.
The Serie A giants aim to educate the new generation of fans and shape the culture of their supporters, while also reaching people outside of their own fan base.
Their manifesto and accompanying ‘RespACT’ programme, will be centred around ‘raising awareness, education, prevention and collaboration’ with regards to prejudice and discrimination.
“It’s not just important for us, it’s important for everyone in the game,” Milan CEO Ivan Gazidis told Sky Sports News.
“We, like many clubs, are doing a lot of good work in this area over a long period of time. The reason we’re launching a manifesto and calling it ‘RespACT’, the emphasis is on the act piece, this isn’t about hashtags, or about virtue signalling, it’s about solid actions the game can take to continue to improve our response to societal issues we have and take leadership to address those issues.”
“[We aim] to provide an example to encourage others in the game to do the same, like equity, diversity, inclusion, actions they can all take in their own spheres and collectively, collaboratively in a positive way taking incredible steps forward.
“As much as football reflects the problems in society and issues we have in society, it I believe also has been force for good, incredible example of people from all different backgrounds, ethnic backgrounds, every colour, gender, every aspects working together.”
The manifesto outlines a number of key events where Milan will look to promote the campaign, including the Derby della Madonnina on 20 February 2021 which will be promoted as the ‘Derby Against Racism’.
Gazidis says progress from their initiatives will be made over time and will also aid the performance of clubs, organisations and institutions over the long term.
“Success is progress. I don’t think we’ll reach a conclusion where our job is done. Society has deep seeded issues we have to continue to work on,” he explained.
“Those issues will change over time as society changes, as we develop and progress, there will be more issues we need to face, important part of this journey is talking about it, being aware of it. This isn’t just an issue of social injustice, but it’s also an issue of performance.
“fF you have prejudice, your performance is impeded, you are creating self inflicted barriers to your own progress. So good football clubs, good organisations, good institutions fight everyday to eliminate their own prejudices so they can perform better.”