Team members of Arsenal, an English Premier League football club, wore white jerseys for a FA Cup match on Sunday (8th January) as part of a campaign against youth violence after London saw a record 30th teenage homicide in 2021.
Normally adorned in their traditional red jerseys, each player wore white to promote the club’s ‘No More Red’ campaign. The campaign is an initiative between Arsenal and adidas that will see the sports company support the work being done by Arsenal in its community to keep young people safe from knife crime and youth violence.
This comes as more than 10,000 knife crime offences took place in London between June 2020 – 2021, and last year saw the highest number of teenage homicides in a year in the capital city since records began. Of the 30 teens that died, 27 were stabbed according to the BBC.
"The white shirt is a symbol of that stand against knife crime," said Jack Ironside, who has worked on Arsenal's schemes in London communities for 15 years.
"That trauma is lived by their friends and their families that live on. But what we've got an opportunity to do here is raise awareness and look at solutions - not answers. We don't have the answer but positive contributions."
Hollywood actor Idris Elba attended the match, a third round tie with English football team Nottingham Forest, and helped to promote the No More Red campaign, for whom he is a mentor, by wearing a white jersey to watch the game.
The ‘Concrete Cowboy’ star told ITV news: “No More Red literally means ‘no more bloodshed.’ That’s what we’re going for, just to put it out there, no more bloodshed. We can do something, football is watched by teenagers, we all joined football as a teen, as kids, and it spoke to us.
“So, we’re using the innovation of the partnership to say, ‘Hey guys, how can we make a stand against knife crime?'”
Following the game, the ten shirts worn by outfield players will be gifted to organizations doing work in the community to address some of the root causes of knife crime and youth violence.
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Source: Sky News