Top stars launch anti-racism campaign01 February 2005

Thierry Henry, the Arsenal and France striker, and Rio Ferdinand of Manchester United and England, have launched Nike’s anti-racism campaign. The Nike wristband is part of their campaign, Stand Up, Speak Up led by Thierry Henry.

Henry first wore the two black and white interlocking bands as he accepted the runners-up award at the World Player of the Year gala in Zurich in December. He approached Nike following racially disparaging comments made about him by the Spain coach Luis Arragones, in October.

Forgive but not forget
At the launch Henry said he could “forgive but not forget” the comments and that subsequent events at the Bernabeu during the Spain v. England game had highlighted how much of a problem racism still was in the game.

He went on to say, “The wristband is about racism. Racsim is one of the biggest problems facing football across Europe. People may think the problem has disappeared, but it hasn't. The players on the pitch need the help of all fans to help drown out the racists and tell them their actions aren't acceptable.”

Proceeds from the sale of the bands will be donated to anti-racism campaigns in football across Europe.

TV slots
Players, including Henry and Ferdinand, Ronaldhino, Ruud Van Nistelrooy, Claude Makalele, Philip Mexes, Carlos Puyol, Roberto Carlos, Christoph Metzelder, Otto Addo, Adriano and Fabio Cannavaro, will all feature in a Europe-wide advertising slot. National teams who wear Nike kit will don specially designed shirts during forthcoming games.

The bands will be available for a donation of at least £1.50 in the UK and 2 Euros in Europe from the 6th February through Nike outlets and other sports retailers.

Further details are available from Nike’s Stand Up Speak Up website which will feature a list of stockists from the 2nd February. The bands are not currently available online.