Lord Mann: My voice will get ’more brutal’ if clubs don’t tackle antisemitism
search

The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here

Lord Mann: My voice will get ’more brutal’ if clubs don’t tackle antisemitism

Government's antisemitism adviser calls on teams to follow Chelsea's lead in battle against hatred in football stadiums, at event chaired by Jewish News editor.

L-R pic: Anita Asante,  Cesar Azpilicueta, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Bruce Buck and Richard Ferrer
L-R pic: Anita Asante, Cesar Azpilicueta, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Bruce Buck and Richard Ferrer

The government’s independent adviser on antisemitism has urged other football clubs to emulate Chelsea’s campaign against antisemitism.

Lord John Mann warned his voice “will get more brutal” if more teams don’t start seriously tackling stadium racism.

He made his remarks at the launch of a giant mural honouring three footballers who imprisoned by the Nazis, by British-Israeli artist Solomon Souza, which is part of the club’s Say No To Antisemitism campaign.

The artwork was commissioned by owner Roman Abramovich ahead of Holocaust Memorial Day on 27 January. It depicts Julius Hirsch, capped seven times for Germany, and Hungary winger Arpad Weisz. Both died at Auschwitz. It also portrays Ron Jones, a British prisoner of war who died last year aged 102.

Lord Mann told an audience of 150 people at Stamford Bridge: “If I thought doing is was a PR stunt I wouldn’t be here. It could have huge ramifications in the fight against hate. I want other premier league clubs to follow Chelsea’s lead and speak out . I have a voice and it will get more brutal if they don’t.”

During the event, chaired by Jewish News editor Richard Ferrer, club captain Cesar Azpilicueta, midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Chelsea Women’s star Anita Assante reflected on the importance of educating their fans against intolerance.

Azpilicueta said: “This mural means a lot. It’s three people who loved football. It’s important to make people aware of the issues. We are doing more and more and I’m proud to be an ambassador, to meet survivors. I hope we can keep fighting because every step matters. We’re going the right way.”

Loftus-Cheek added: “There are lots of kids who look up to us and we’re doing our bit to kids educate them. I’m a to play for this club. I want to do as much as I can to fight antisemitism and racism.”

The mural of three footballers revealed by Chelsea for Holocaust Memorial Day. Credit: Shahar Azran

Bruce Buck, chairman of Chelsea FC, reaffirmed the club’s commitment to the project, saying it was “never ending” with “no time frame”. He added: “Maybe if antisemitism stops we’ll stop – but that’s not likely in our lifetime. It’s a very important project for Roman.”

Karen Pollock, chief executive of the Holocaust Educational Trust, reflected on the importance of this year’s memorial day, saying: “We have to explain what happens when hate goes unchecked”.

Sharon Bar-Li, Israel’s deputy ambassador to the UK, also took part in a panel.

Deputy Mayor of Jerusalem Fleur Hassan-Nahoum, who introduced Chelsea to mural artist Souza, said: The art scene in Jerusalem is recognised globally as avant-guard and diverse. I am proud to have been closely involved in bringing a piece of it to Chelsea Football Club as part of their campaign against antisemitism.”

The evening’s keynote speech was given by Isaac Herzog, chair of the Jewish Agency.

Support your Jewish community. Support your Jewish News

Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.

Unlike other Jewish media, we do not charge for content. That won’t change. Because we are free, we rely on advertising to cover our costs. This vital lifeline, which has dropped in recent years, has fallen further due to coronavirus.

For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.

Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.

You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.

100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...

Engaging

Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.

Celebrating

There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.

Pioneering

In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.

Campaigning

Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish News also produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.

Easy access

In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.

Voice of our community to wider society

The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.

We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.

read more:
comments