Arsenal will play in an all-white single board against Nottingham Forest as part of the launch of the No More Red awareness initiative and the fight against knife crime with adidas.
Arsenal are removing the red from their iconic shirts and will wear a personalized all-white kit for the first time in Sunday’s FA Cup third round match with Nottingham Forest at the City Ground.
The kits will not be commercially available and will be awarded only to people who are making a positive difference in the community.
The collaboration with the club’s kit maker will build on Arsenal’s work in the community to keep young people safe by providing new investments for safe spaces to play football and mentoring opportunities that will see young leaders locals supported by creative talents including Ian Wright and Idris. Elbe.
It comes after last week’s confirmation of a record 30 teenage felony deaths in London in 2021.
“The idea that Arsenal is going to come out in an all-white kit and say ‘No more red’, hopefully, will make people think, ‘Wait, what’s going on here? “- then look further and try to find out more”, said actor Idris Elba Sky Sports News.
“I hope this will have an impact that spills over to other football clubs and inspires other ideas of collaboration and investment in practical things to help young people, be it football pitches. or youth centers like the one where I went to Forest Gate where I played sports and where I fell in love with the cinema.
“We need to give young people, especially teenagers, another option and an alternative to knife and gang crime. This is what we can offer them as an option.”
The 10 jerseys worn by Arsenal outfielders during the cup tie will be donated to organizations working in the community to tackle some of the root causes of knife crime and youth violence. The Don’t Stab Your Future initiative – which uses fashion to support those working to keep children away from crime – is one such organization.
Award-winning actor Elba used his status to raise awareness about knife crime and said the No More Red initiative was a cause that immediately touched him.
“The reasons why they [adidas and Arsenal] do this really resonated with me.
“I have a great youth following and people always say to me, ‘Idris, you come from the same place as me, how did you do it?’ And it’s the same with footballers.
“Seeing these two giants say we want to do something big, specific to football culture, that says we watch, we care, we want to do something – that really resonated with me. the case.”
“Our greatest collaboration is with the fans”
“You need a village because no man is an island,” Elba continued. “This is where partnerships that raise awareness and collaborations come in.
“Our greatest collaboration is with the fans. Every Saturday and Sunday hundreds of thousands of fans come and millions of people come together to watch football.
“You really start your football journey as a teenager, and that’s where the power of collaboration lies. That’s where adidas, Arsenal, Ian Wright – which I was a fan of growing up – me – even, don’t stab your future, everyone, we are all here to amplify this message.
“Football is the perfect place to watch your team and see the fans, and celebrate your union – a union that I don’t think you can get anywhere else.
“Football makes you feel like you’re in the same boat and that’s the power of sport, and football in particular. You literally use your voice to encourage and uplift players, and football is probably a bit under. -used in the sense of how it connects with young people and how it can become a beacon of light for young people. “
“Temperature of violence different in 2021”
About 10,000 crimes reported in the 12 months in the capital to June of last year involved a knife.
Elba believes the coronavirus pandemic and the effects of the lockdown have increased stress and tension among young people, exacerbating the problem of knife crime.
“The temperature of violence in 2021 was completely different – and one of the key things we didn’t go through in the ’80s was a two or three year pandemic that didn’t just strain the world and the citizens of the world, but our country in a way we have never seen before.
“These are kids we’re talking about and these kids (the 30 who were killed) might have been alive if we hadn’t been through one of the world’s most difficult times we’ve ever seen.
“I’m not saying there wouldn’t be knife crime if it weren’t for the pandemic, I’m saying that in the end it made it worse for everyone. The levels stress levels are really, really high and so the level of violence and the nature of gang culture has taken on a different form.
“This is what I think has changed enormously since I was a child, and in particular the fact that the last two years in particular have been dangerous. Knife culture has infiltrated the streets and the consciousness of these people. children and infiltrated the communities, it is worsened and it is tragic.
“We are now at a point in the year where I hope – and I use the word on purpose – we can say that we want to change it and shed some light on that, that we have had enough and as a village. , we want to do something about it.
“Adidas, myself, Arsenal, we’re never going to figure out why knife crime is happening, but what we can do is make a lot of noise about it, so people are a lot more aware – everything the world of those who make and sell the knives to the people who own them.
“It’s about creating that awareness and telling people, and showing people that we care.”
Arteta: An important club made a strong statement
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has explained the importance of the campaign and why it is important for the club to make such a strong statement.
Speaking ahead of the shock of the FA Cup this weekend, Arteta said: “We have been very involved as a club over the years in the fight against knife crime and we have the capacity to spread awareness of this problem in London.
“Everyone at the club has been extremely supportive of the players and our Adidas sponsors who have been exceptionally good in coming up with some great ideas to support this.
“The players have known about the campaign for some time but with the Covid issues we haven’t had a chance to do it. We are fortunate enough to do it now on Sunday and the players are extremely proud of it.
“There’s a lot of work away from the spotlight trying to design and find other ways to promote and support this. It’s not something that is going to go away overnight, but I hope more people will be able to embark on this initiative because it is a big problem at the moment. “
Ian Wright: Together we can make a difference
Club legend Wright is also featured in a powerful video series alongside Arsenal players Emile Smith Rowe, Bakayo Saka, Reiss Nelson where they passionately advocate for “No More Red” – the end of knife violence.
Wright said: “Every young person deserves the opportunity to express themselves. The possibility of existing in a safe environment. The opportunity to live free from the fear of violence.
“We can never accept the loss of life from youth violence as ‘normal’ in our city and it is so important that we all work together to create a better environment for young people.
“By giving young people more places to play sport, more support and access to people who can inspire them, together we can help make a difference for young people in London.”
Arsenal community manager Freddie Hudson added: “Staying safe is just part of it, No More Red also offers educational opportunities that help individuals make better informed choices for their future. Also sends a broader message that by pursuing your talent and focusing on aspirations and positive influences, there are alternatives. “
For more information on the initiative, please visit here