Stand Up Speak Up
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||This article possibly contains original research. (January 2012)|
Stand Up Speak Up is a Europe-wide campaign that was launched in January 2005 by the French Football player Thierry Henry following an increase in reports of racist incidents in football across Europe. Together with Nike and other top European players, he protests against this continuing problem inviting football fans to voice their opposition to racism.
The symbol of the campaign is two interlocked wristbands, one black, and one white. About 5 million of these wristbands have been sold all over Europe. The wrist bands are no longer being sold and there is no intention to reproduce them. All the funds raised are passed on to a central Stand Up Speak Up fund that will look to support initiatives that aim to combat racism in football through a variety of programmes and initiatives, that raise awareness, challenge behaviour and strive to change attitudes. This successful campaign included footballers such as Thierry Henry, Rio Ferdinand, Wayne Rooney, Cristiano Ronaldo and Adriano.
Controversy sparked when Gary Neville claimed Nike were only involved for commercial gain and not their anti-racism stance. This carried over into a match against Arsenal as Neville and Manchester United team mate Paul Scholes refused to wear the different anti racism tracksuit top that players from both sides wore.