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Blades Against Racism: campaign launched following McGoldrick abuse

Sheffield United fanzine DEM Blades has launched an anti-racism campaign in response to online racist abuse aimed at club forward David McGoldrick.

In response to the Black Lives Matter movement DEM Blades had already designed a page for the newest edition of their publication outlining their opposition to racism, but they moved quickly and developed that into a wider campaign, following the McGoldrick incidents.

“The idea is to promote anti-racism in the ground and create and environment where people feel empowered to challenge themselves,” says DEM Blades co-creator Sam Parry. “We want people to know that the vast majority of Blades are opposed to racism.

“The badges went on sale on Wednesday [15th July] and we’d done 500 within the first day and 800 by Thursday! We’ve been selling so many I don’t even know if I’ll have enough room to keep all the new stock in my flat!”

Sam continues: “Sheffield Wednesday had done ‘Owls Against Racists’ and we wanted to help show that the whole city stood together on this. It’s also about encouraging people to be a little more introspective about their own behaviour and small biases – for example how many times have you heard people say ‘the big black lad upfront’ rather than just ‘the big lad upfront’?”

Support hasn’t just came form the world of football either with Pulp drummer and Sheffield Wednesday fan Nick Banks showing support along with Radio 1 DJ and Blades fan Toddla T.

The campaign has also received the backing of former England international Luther Blissett, Blades forward Oli McBurnie, and manager Chris Wilder who has overseen the club’s return to the top-flight.

“Our European chances were finished after losing to Everton but contrasting with Villa and Norwich it’s quite surreal,” says Sam. “I don’t know if it’s the manager, the players or the style of play but we knew it was special last year and felt something was going to happen.”

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Funding partners

  • The Football Association
  • Premier Leage Fans Fund

Partners

  • Gamble Aware
  • Co-operatives UK
  • FSE
  • Kick It Out
  • Level Playing Field
  • Living Wage Foundation
  • Pledgeball