AC Milan today launches its "Manifesto for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion", a range of initiatives to implement the Club's vision and further its commitment to sharing the positive values of sports to support the fight against all forms of prejudice and discrimination. The manifesto leverages the enormous potential of the Club to engage and emotionally connect with its supporters and stakeholders.
"Equity, diversity and inclusion are the very cornerstones of the Club's purpose and long-term vision as well as fundamental human values that can help to drive positive social change" - underlined Ivan Gazidis, CEO AC Milan. "AC Milan is for everyone, just like football. We will do everything possible to mitigate prejudice and discrimination of all kinds and in all circumstances, to nurture more positive attitudes and behaviours within our game and our community. We hope our proposals can be a source of inspiration to others - to drive significant cultural change will require us all to work together."
Alongside the Manifesto, AC Milan has also launched a broader communication programme under the headline 'RESPACT', an impactful and recognisable umbrella concept to help communicate the Club's commitment to the values of equity, diversity and inclusion. The line is inspired by and intends to reinforce the messages included in UEFA's 'Respect' campaign, whilst also highlighting the necessity for stakeholders at all levels to act in a concrete way in order to drive cultural change.
Awareness, Education, Prevention and Collaboration are the four pillars of the Manifesto which sets out a long-term plan to drive collaboration across a number of key stakeholder groups including football institutions, Clubs and fans. Through concrete actions, the Manifesto will raise awareness of issues currently faced within the game, analyse and start to address them and ultimately drive change in the name of inclusivity and tolerance.
Highlights of the four pillars:
Raising Awareness: AC Milan will leverage its global platform and the strength of its brand to highlight social issues and drive important conversation on topics such as racism, diversity and the protection of minority rights (e.g. religion, gender, ethnic).
"Champions of Equity" is a campaign aimed to feature the stories of athletes and sports personalities who made a significant contribution to the promotion of equity and inclusion at an international level. The second "Derby against Racism" will also be staged on February 20, 2021, using the Club's highest profile match of the season to highlight the issue of racism in football to a large global audience.
Education: only through knowledge-sharing and conversation will young people be able to understand the issues within our society and be provided with the tools to address them. We must provide an environment which promotes a culture of inclusivity and shared values. With these objectives in mind, AC Milan is re-launching "All the colours of football", an initiative which provides racial sensitivity education in schools across Lombardy, reaching over 2000 students every year and featuring experts, AC Milan's footballers, former footballers and top executives.
Prevention: AC Milan has always invested in strategies, tools and technologies to support the identification and prevention of violent, illegal and discriminatory acts, behaviours and conduct, both in its own venues and in the digital environment. The fight against "hate speech" across the Club's digital channels is an area of particular focus. Thanks to this ongoing commitment, the number of instances of inappropriate content within the Club's digital environment has dropped by around 70% in two years.
The Club also collaborates effectively with Police and referees to identify and sanction any fans found guilty of intolerant behaviours within the stadium environment. AC Milan, together with football and government institutions, is committed to drive a full review of existing protocols, with the aim of implementing a stronger and more effective framework by the beginning of the 21/22 season. Furthermore, the Club has set a clear objective for the New Milano Stadium to be the most inclusive venue in football with technologies, spaces and processes dedicated to the identification and prevention of violent or discriminatory acts and a focus on inclusivity, safety and security for all fans.
Collaboration: the world of football can only evolve through a process of common, shared and systematic action. AC Milan has always collaborated with stakeholders at all levels, driving concrete initiatives and actions to stimulate change, including:
The Manifesto is part of the Club's broader corporate social responsibility strategy, reported in its annual Sustainability Report published today, which also highlights the community support work of the Club's charity arm, Fondazione Milan.