Saturday is Rovers' dedicated fixture to the work of Kick It Out, football’s equality and inclusion organisation.
Since 1993, Kick It Out has worked throughout the football, educational and community sectors to challenge discrimination, encourage inclusive practices and campaign for positive change.
Throughout the 2016/17 season, Kick It Out is running an initiative – Call Full Time On Hate – which aims to utilise and engage the collective force of football to tackle discrimination and hate incidents at every level of the game.
The initiative also seeks to highlight the positive messages of inclusion echoed by the football authorities, clubs, players, managers and supporters’ groups.
Rovers are fully behind #CallFullTimeOnHate and, in addition to its support in the programme and on the pitch, the club will be supporting the initiative on social media, as well as through Kick It Out resources such as posters, t-shirts and big screen advertisements inside the Keepmoat Stadium.
Captain James Coppinger and his team-mates are looking forward to recognising the work of Kick It Out. He said: “Saturday sees the club recognise the work of Kick It Out, football’s equality and inclusion organisation and its commitment to tackling hate through its #CallFullTimeOnHate initiative.
“As a squad, we all support the work that Kick It Out is doing across all levels of the game. Hatred and discrimination has no place in football, and if we can do anything as a squad to share that message, we’re more than happy to do it.”
Lord Herman Ouseley, chair of Kick It Out, has reiterated with all of the football authorities his concerns on behalf of the organisation around rising levels of hate in society and believes support from professional clubs is an important step in tackling the issue.
He said: “Our anti-hate initiative aims to build on existing positive education and awareness-raising projects supported by clubs and their Foundations in their local communities.
“Football is at the forefront of helping its fans, players and young people in their local communities to understand the damaging effects of prejudice and discriminatory abuse.”
As part of Saturday’s fixture, the Club Doncaster Foundation will be showcasing our new Charlie Williams heritage display, which has been produced in his memory and highlights his achievements as one of the first prominent black footballers in the UK – and the barriers he faced because of it. Charlie will also be inducted into Rovers’ Hall of Fame before kick-off.
Martin O’Hara, secretary of the Viking Supporters Co-operative who helped create the banner, said: “Charlie Williams’s contribution to the game went beyond the 90 minutes on a Saturday afternoon.
“His beaming smile and boundless enthusiasm for the game belied the prejudice he suffered and paved the way for the modern game as we see it today. We should honour and remember his immense contribution.”
Rovers will also be welcoming the winners of Kids Cup – Warmsworth Primary School - who will be our official Kick it Out flag bearers before kick-off.