Anti-Bullying Week 2021: One Kind Word
Manchester FA are delighted to once again support the 'Anti-Bullying Alliance' with Anti-Bullying Week 2021.
This year's week of action runs from the 15-19th November 2021 and you can access a whole host of useful resources and information but using the below link.
With national anti-bullying week upon us, Manchester FA is keen to impress this year’s message; “One Kind Word”
Just as in schools and the workplace, bullying can take numerous forms throughout football and anyone can be victimised.
It can occur from the touchline, in the dressing room or out on the pitch and even when in the past victims may have found escape at home, there is now the threat of social media that is used to exclude, isolate and hurt, without leaving a visible scar.
Yet bullying isn’t always as obvious as a post online, it can sometimes be embedded into the way that we act on the football field and we may not even recognise that what we do amounts to bullying.
Take the coach who prowls the touchline throughout a fixture that their side eventually loses, before using their post-match to tell their players that their performance was embarrassing and that they aren’t good enough for the “big games”.
That’s bullying. Although it’s obvious to recognise that when you read it in print, it’s not always that easy when you’re out at a game.
Similarly with the way you approach referees, especially younger ones. You wouldn’t scream and shout at a 16-year-old shop assistant who had made an honest mistake and over-charged you.
Why then is it acceptable to scream and shout at a 16-year-old referee who makes an honest mistake at a football game?
The answer is that it isn’t; that’s bullying too.
Some forms of bullying have become so embedded into a minority’s experience of the game, that they don’t even recognise the detrimental effect it is having anymore.
As you take to the football field this weekend, we ask you to take a second look at yourselves and those around you.