Last weekend saw Everton unveil a banner cementing the fans’ and club’s support for Moise Kean. The striker has previously suffered racist abuse, and on the club’s designated Kick It Out day, Everton were keen to project their message of anti-discrimination.
Due to the fantastic fundraising work of Everton's supporters group – the County Road Bobblers – fans kicked off their clash against Manchester City by displaying a banner of Moise Kean’s face that read: ‘No Al Razzismo’ (No To Racism).
Speaking to Everton F.C. about the idea, Lee from the County Road Bobblers said: “it’s taken a little bit of time [to fundraise and create the banner] but to see it out there today was brilliant.”
When asked about whether they were surprised that the banner generated so much support and interest, Lee’s fellow supporters group member, David, added: “the Everton fans never surprise me. When it comes to inclusion and diversity, these things just fly with Everton. It’s a credit to the club and it’s a credit to the fans as well.”
“He [Kean] is a young lad coming to a new country and he’s joined the People’s Club – it’s the best place for him to come… I think the message was clear to him today: we’re going to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with you, against any issues, including racism.”
The game marked Everton’s annual Kick It Out event – a day where the club works with the organisation to combat discrimination and promote equality. Keeley Baptista is Head of Partnerships at Kick It Out, and was delighted by the Everton fans’ display of support.
“I think it’s fantastic that fans have started to take their own initiative,” she said. “They’re not doing this for Kick it Out, they’re not doing this for Everton Football Club, they’re doing this for themselves because they want to show support to Moise Kean and the rest of the Everton players, and show the wider football community that racism won’t be tolerated.”
The banner didn’t go unnoticed by Kean, either, who took to social media after the match to personally thank Everton fans for their support.
“This is not only a ‘welcome’ to Moise Kean to Everton,” Baptista concluded. “It’s also a ‘welcome, and by the way, we don’t want you to suffer what you’ve suffered elsewhere here’, and it showcases that the fans are right behind him.”
Follow Kick It Out’s amazing work on Twitter @kickitout