Arsenal fans joined feminist campaign group Level Up to fly a banner above Selhurst Park during the Premier League opener calling on football to kick rapists out of the game.
The Gunners opened the Premier League season with an away game against Crystal Palace on Friday night, the second consecutive season they had a London derby to kick things off.
The banner was co-funded by Arsenal fans and Level Up, with the campaign group explaining why they flew the banner to the ground.
“The Premier League is finally starting to recognize the huge influence that football has on our culture and individual behaviors by introducing mandatory consent training,” Level Up co-director Seyi Falodun-Liburd told Reuters. Athletic.
“We want to see all actions in our open letter implemented, in particular consequences and disciplinary action for players who cause harm – and we want this done by an independent ombudsman, who sits outside of any company. or club.”
We are no longer waiting. We filed a petition. We wrote open letters. We have had meetings. We will be more direct.
It is high time Premier League clubs faced a culture of impunity, complicity and silence around rape in football.
– Level Up (@we_level_up) August 5, 2022
The Premier League announced on Thursday that it was implementing mandatory sexual consent training for all players in the league.
A statement from Level Up said they ‘plan to disrupt the fanfare and demand that England’s top tier take further action against ‘a culture of impunity around sexual violence in football’.”
It comes on the backs of other players charged with rape, with Benjamin Mendy currently out on bail awaiting trial on eight counts of rape, one count of sexual assault and one count of attempted rape.
Arsenal fan Mikey Franklin, who helped fund the banner on Friday, told Athletic: “As a lifelong Arsenal fan, I want to see our club lead the league in the fight against sexual violence. .
“Anyone who is violent towards a woman must be held accountable, no matter how important they are to a team’s success.
“Sexual violence is a problem everywhere and I want Arsenal, given their importance in the Premier League, to lead the way.”
If football does not take action against those who commit violent crimes against women, they risk alienating 51% of the population.