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Olympians unite to stamp racism out of sport

27 May 2013

EDUCATION: The Australian Human Rights Commission’s Racism. It Stops With Me campaign and the Play by the Rules program have partnered to produce a powerful new TV Community Service Announcement (CSA) for sporting organisations to play at their events and to promote on their websites and through their social media forums.

“The CSA will be broadcast nationally until the start of August and will also be available on the Australian Human Rights Commission and Play by the Rules YouTube channels and websites,” said the Commission’s federal Disability Discrimination Commissioner, and Play by the Rules Co-Chair, Graeme Innes.

The CSA features an all-star cast of Australia’s best known sporting heroes including: Sally Pearson (athletics), Adam Goodes (AFL), Liz Cambage (basketball), Greg Inglis (rugby league), Peter Siddle (cricket), Mo'onia Gerrard (netball), AFL Indigenous All-stars, Archie Thompson (football/soccer), Cameron Smith (rugby league), Drew Mitchell (rugby union), Timana Tahu (rugby league), Nick Maxwell (AFL) and some grassroots athletes of different ages and backgrounds. They all reinforce the simple message – Racism. It Stops With Me. (Video above)

Despite a range of programs and policies, incidents of racism and discrimination still occur on a regular basis from the elite to grassroots level across a range of sports every season. 

“Sport is all about having fun, competing safely and getting a fair go, regardless of your skin colour, background or culture. Whether you’re a player, spectator, coach or official, there is simply no place for racism or discrimination in sport,” Commissioner Innes said.

Executive Director of Sport and Recreation Tasmania, Craig Martin, who is also a Play by the Rules Co-Chair, said, “With the AFL, Rugby League, Netball and Rugby Union seasons all now in progress, the Football (soccer) season just finished and the Cricket Tests about to commence in the UK, this is a timely opportunity to remind everyone in sport that racism is not acceptable and will not be tolerated.”

Racism. It Stops With Me is an initiative of the National Anti-Racism Strategy which invites all Australians to reflect on what they can do to counter racism wherever it happens. 

The Australian Olympic Committee is one of many sporting organisations to support the campaign. Sporting organisations can take a strong stand against racism by committing to the Racism. It Stops with Me campaign at: itstopswithme.humanrights.gov.au/it-stops-with-me/support-campaign.

Clubs can also access a range of tools and resources to stamp racism out of sport at www.playbytherules.net.au 

Play by the Rules is a unique collaboration between the Australian Sports Commission, Australian Human Rights Commission, all state and territory departments of sport and recreation, all state and territory anti-discrimination and human rights agencies, the NSW Commission for Children and Young People and the Australian and New Zealand Sports Law Association (ANZSLA). 

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