Arsenal Football Club has become the first club to receive Kick It Out's Advanced Level of the Equality Standard. The standard supports the development of equality and diversity practice at professional clubs in the UK.
Arsenal has received the honour from football's equality and inclusion campaign after providing detailed evidence on what it is doing to promote diversity and equality. It includes work in the community, engagement with fans and the development of Club policies and processes to create equal opportunities for all.
The award will be handed over by Lord Herman Ouseley, Chair of Kick It Out at an event at Emirates Stadium which will see a number of equality and diversity groups and members of the football family come together. Arsenal's Chief Executive, Ivan Gazidis, Arsenal and England Ladies Captain Faye White and Arsenal supporters and individuals from the local community who are involved in some of Arsenal's initiatives which celebrate the diversity of its fan base will also be speaking at the event.
Lord Herman Ouseley, Chair of Kick It Out, football's equality and inclusion campaign, said: "This is a significant achievement for the Club. They've demonstrated consistent good practice and led from the top. Their commitment to engaging with fans from ethnic minority communities and acting as a fair and equitable employer is something others should aspire to."
Arsenal's CEO Ivan Gazidis added: "This is a great achievement for Arsenal and is something of which the supporters and staff can all be very proud. However, we fully recognise there is a lot to be done to eradicate all forms of discrimination in football and beyond.
"We celebrate receiving this award today and will use it as a platform to continue the good work and engage more people and organisations who can help us contribute to the equality and diversity agenda and reach more people from all walks of life."
One of the key pillars of the Club's work on the equality and diversity agenda has been the Arsenal for Everyone initiative. It was launched four years ago to move from an anti-racism message to a broader programme to encourage diversity throughout the Arsenal family. It formed part of the Club's work towards the Advanced Level of the Equality Standard and encompassed a broad range of initiatives undertaken in the community and at Emirates Stadium.
This includes award-winning work to give disabled supporters an unrivalled matchday experience which includes a half-price season tickets for disabled supporters with accompanying carer, a dedicated matchday commentary service for visually impaired fans, the creation of an audio version of the matchday programme, provision of a disabled supporters lounge and the UK's only guide dog toilet.Copyright 2015 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source