AS Roma players will display a prominent anti-racism message on their shirts when the club’s Serie A season recommences on June 24.
The team will wear a special patch on their left sleeve which will feature the words ‘Black Lives Matter’ along with ‘ASSIEME’ – meaning Together, the name of the campaign the club launched to cover all of the Roma Cares activities during the Covid-19 crisis.
The first time the Giallorossi players will wear the Black Lives Matter patch will be at Stadio Olimpico against Sampdoria on Wednesday evening.
The team will wear the patch for a total of 12 Serie A games, the last of which will be in Turin against Juventus.
The patch is designed to show support to the Black Lives Matter movement, which has once again been thrust into the global spotlight by the killing of George Floyd, an unarmed black man in Minneapolis, America.
Floyd’s death, along with the earlier deaths of Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor, sparked protests all over the world, with hundreds of thousands of people marching in support of Black Lives Matter.
Across America, and in many major cities around the world, thousands of people, came out to make their voice heard.
In Rome, a Black Lives Matter protest was held in Piazza del Popolo on June 7.
Earlier this month, Roma coach Paulo Fonseca and his players all took a knee before training at Trigoria to show their support for Black Lives Matter - and many also chose to share a photograph of the moment on their personal social media profiles.
“As a football club we are 100% committed to tackling racism in all forms,” said Paul Rogers, chief strategy officer at AS Roma.
“We believe that with the incredible global platform we have, we are in a powerful position to send out a clear message that Black Lives Matter.
“All over the world, it has been made very clear that it is no longer enough to not be racist, we must be anti-racist. We understand we need to do a lot more than just wear a patch on our shirt to make a meaningful contribution to the global challenge of addressing systemic racism, but we feel it’s a timely opportunity to communicate an important message to millions of television viewers around the world.”
The club will auction off match-worn shirts, featuring the Black Lives Matter / ASSIEME patch, from each of the 12 games to raise money for a number of prominent anti-racism organisations as well as for Roma Cares, in order to help develop new club-run, anti-racist initiatives with children in Italy.
In July, the club, through Roma Cares, will launch a new monthly anti-racism workshop to help educate young people in Rome about the issue of racism and help them better understand ways in which they can proactively influence their peers in an anti-racist way.
The club has also created an online resource list to help educate fans about the issue of racism and what being anti-racist means. The page, on the club’s official website, features links to articles and books to read, as well as videos, films and documentaries to watch.