Brentford at the forefront of tackling racism and discrimination in football

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Brentford have joined forces with Kick It Out and the Football Supporters’ Federation to host an event aimed at tackling the issues of racism and discrimination in football.

Last night’s event saw more than 70 fans, staff and guests attend during a week where the Bees also marked the 25th Anniversary of Kick It Out, football’s equality and diversity organisation.

The event was aimed at challenging one of the game’s biggest issues head on and held before Brentford’s designated Kick It Out match against Derby County tomorrow afternoon.

The discussion was led by Kick It Out’s Troy Townsend with Brentford boss Thomas Frank and player Romaine Sawyers in attendance alongside a panel featuring: TV pundit Liam Rosenior, Brentford Hall of Fame member Marcus Gayle, Chris Paouros (a member of the FA’s Inclusion Board), former player and Kick It Out Fans for Diversity leader Anwar Uddin and BBC Young Reporter Salma Mahamud who also plays for Brentford Women’s development team.

The evening saw an informative Q&A with Thomas Frank telling those in attendance he would consider taking his team off the pitch if his players were being racially abused, regardless of the consequences.

Other topics discussed included the role of the media, and the panellists’ own experiences of discrimination during their careers.

Recent instances of racism at matches in England and abroad were also considered and fans shared their own experiences, as well as their thoughts, on what Brentford can do to tackle this issue.

Troy Townsend said: “It was a privilege to host the Brentford FC BeeTogether event last night.

“To have Thomas Frank, Romaine Sawyers, club directors and Community Sports Trust representatives in attendance shows just how strongly the club recognises its responsibilities in the fight against all forms of discrimination.

“Events like this show a club which is being proactive in trying to tackle the scourge of racism and discrimination in football, and wider society.”

READ MORE: Brentford lead the way with Women in Football event

Club director Monique Choudhuri, who hosted the evening, added:  “I would like to thank everyone for their attendance and contributions to another successful event.

As with our International Women’s Day meeting last month, this event forms part of our BeeTogether initiative aimed at making football more inclusive and welcoming for all.

“No-one could have missed the well-publicised incidents of racism in football over the past few months.

“This is an issue that has not gone away and, while we believe Griffin Park is largely free from such incidents, we want to do all that we can to ensure the culture of our club is one of inclusivity.

“We believe that having open conversations like this on the topic of racism and discrimination will help that.”

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