After a tumultuous year which has also seen a rise in hate crime, be that on social media or otherwise, AC Milan appear to have taken the lead in the fightback for a more equitable society.
The Italian giants have launched a manifesto for equity, diversity and inclusion, with the idea that all forms of prejudice and discrimination will be outlawed eventually.
There is a clear need to educate the next generation of their supporters, as well as any others from outside the club, and this first step is significant.
“It’s not just important for us, it’s important for everyone in the game,” CEO, Ivan Gazidis told Sky Sports News cited by Sky Sports.
“We, like many clubs, are doing a lot of good work in this area over a long period of time.
“The reason we’re launching a manifesto and calling it ‘RespACT’, the emphasis is on the act piece, this isn’t about hashtags, or about virtue signalling, it’s about solid actions the game can take to continue to improve our response to societal issues we have and take leadership to address those issues.
“[We aim] to provide an example to encourage others in the game to do the same, like equity, diversity, inclusion, actions they can all take in their own spheres and collectively, collaboratively in a positive way taking incredible steps forward.
“As much as football reflects the problems in society and issues we have in society, I believe also it has been a force for good, an incredible example of people from all different backgrounds, ethnic backgrounds, every colour, gender, every aspect working together.”
There will be a number of key events over the coming months which will highlight AC Milan’s commitment to the manifesto.
One of those will be surrounding the Derby della Madonnina on February 20, with the game being promoted in the build up as the ‘Derby Against Racism.’
There’s a long way to go of course, but the first stone has to be laid at some stage.