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‘All men are created equal.’ It is one of the most popular quotations in the history of mankind. However, all over the world there are countless incidents that can be seen as proof of the opposite of these five words. Therefore FIFPro speaks up on this special day, the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.


This Thursday March 21st, the United Nations (UN) highlight the problem of racism in sports.


According to the UN ‘racism remains a disturbing occurrence in many parts of the world’. FIFPro is in total agreement with the UN on this. Every week, FIFPro (the representative organization for all professional footballers)  receives reports of racist and discriminatory incidents aimed at players, from every corner of the globe.


Too many players are victims of small groups of hooligans that aim to disturb football matches with their ignorant and indecent behavior. Most of the players are hurt by grave insults.


But FIFPro is of the opinion that the players should not retreat to a role of helpless victims. FIFPro invites the players to assist on awareness campaigns. For many people, these football players are role models, even heroes. They can play a huge role in combatting racism and racial discrimination.


‘We invite players to report any incident of racist behavior they witness’, says Tony Higgins, the FIFPro spokesman on racism. ‘When we raise the issue with the governing bodies and governments, it is important that we have as much information as possible that is current. Let’s use the UN day to begin a new awareness campaign.’


Through campaigns such as Show Racism the Red Card, FIFPro and the players aim to educate children and football fans about the risks of racism, discrimination and intolerance. FIFPro is proud of the selfless support the players offer whenever they are requested to join a campaign or event.


Yet, FIFPro also knows there is still a long way to go. Ask Kevin-Prince Boateng, ask Milton Núñez, ask Jozy Altidore, ask Dani Alves, ask Mario Balotelli…


The first article of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights affirms that 'all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights'. According to the United Nations’ statement 'The International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination reminds us of our collective responsibility for promoting and protecting these ideals'.


FIFPro and all professional football players are fully aware of this ‘collective responsibility’. We will continue promoting this important message: ‘All men are created equal’.