Arsenal DITCH their famous colours to wear a special ALL WHITE kit in the FA Cup as they launch their ‘No More Red’ campaign to combat knife crime after a record 30 teenagers were killed in London last year
- Arsenal will play in a one-off all white kit for FA Cup trip to Nottingham Forest
- The ‘No More Red’ campaign aims to keep young people safe from knife crime
- 2021 saw the highest number of teenage murders in London in a single year
- The kit will never be made available to buy, with worn shirts donated to charities
Arsenal will discard their famous red shirt this weekend and instead wear a one-off all white kit in their FA Cup third round tie away at Nottingham Forest to promote their new No More Red campaign.
The initiative, launched with adidas, aims to keep young people safe from knife crime and youth violence by providing more positive social spaces in London and spotlighting talented individuals who are making a positive difference in their community.
The kit will never be made available for sale, with the shirts worn by the 10 starting outfield players set to be donated to organisations doing work to address some of the root causes of violent youth crime in the community.
Arsenal will wear the all-white shirt away at Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup on Saturday
Last year there were 30 teenage murders in London, which is the highest annual figure since records began and the majority of those deaths involved knife attacks.
In total, there were more than 10,000 knife crime offences in the city between June 2020 and June 2021.
As part of the work of the No More Red initiative, there will be investment in the creation and refurbishment of safe spaces to play football, starting with the pitch on Harvist Estate which is less than 500 metres away from Emirates Stadium.
Commenting on the campaign, Arsenal legend Ian Wright said: ‘Every young person deserves the opportunity to express themselves. The opportunity to exist within a safe environment. The opportunity to live free from fear of violence.
‘We can never accept loss of life through youth violence as ‘normal’ in our city and it’s 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 individuals who can inspire them, together we can help make a difference to young people in London.’
Organisations such as Arsenal in the Community, The Stephen Lawrence Day Foundation and Don’t Stab Your Future will all be given the match-worn shirts to award to individuals who are giving back to the community and creating a positive environment for young people.
The kit will never be made available for sale, with worn shirts donated to 10 different charities
Adidas will help set up a mentor scheme to allow young people doing positive work in the community to be supported by creative talent such as Wright, actor Idris Elba, DJ Emerald Rose Lewis and artist Reuben Dangoor.
The sportswear giant will also provide access to its talent network, who will make regular contributions to Arsenal in the Community programmes that provide a wide range of training, quality spaces, positive role models and tangible opportunities for young people.
Hollywood star Elba said: ‘From the time young people leave school, until the time they’re at home with family, there is often a void, a dangerous spike of nothing to do, where nothing can easily turn to something dangerous.
‘If there continues to be no options for this after-school period, we will always see gangs form. Let’s create options for these young people.’
Ian Wright (left) and Idris Elba (right) will be involved in the ‘No More Red’ mentor scheme
Freddie Hudson, Head of Arsenal in the Community, added: ‘We know young people face multiple challenges as they grow up in today’s world and some need protecting from the pressure of negative influences.
‘No More Red’s investment in football pitches provides us with quality, safe spaces in the heart of our communities. These spaces enable our participants to engage and build relationships with relatable role models who can inspire and support.
‘Keeping safe is just one part, No More Red also provides educational opportunities that help individuals make better, informed choices about their future. It also sends a wider message that by pursuing your talent and focusing on aspirations and positive influences, there are alternatives.’
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