Ahead of their FIH Hockey Pro League matches against The Netherlands and Belgium, Great Britain’s men and women announced they were going to ‘Stick It To Racism’.
Supported by GB Hockey, England Hockey, Scottish Hockey and Hockey Wales, the players wore face masks with the statement during their tour, while the logo was also displayed on all social media graphics.
As part of the statement, they made it clear that ‘there is no place for racism in our sport or society’ and committed to working with the governing bodies to support their diversity and inclusion work.
“It really came out as a result of us believing that there is no racism in hockey, in sport or in society,” explained Tess Howard.
“We felt strongly enough that this is what we should be doing; we should not accept racism. Coming together to show that we are sticking it to racism, every member believes that there is no place for racism and that’s as simple as it is.”
With the suffering of black people in particular coming to prominence this year, the squads have been educating themselves to help further their understanding the discrimination endured by many for so long.
As role models to so many, they know that they can use their voices to try and influence change and that is what they hope to achieve in the ongoing months and years through ‘Stick It To Racism’.
Furthermore they want everyone to have the opportunity to play the sport they love and remove any potential barriers that stand in the way,
Emily Defroand said: “We feel very strongly that our sport is one of the best things that you can do.
“We all love it, we have such a passion for it and we feel everyone should have the opportunity to play our sport and be comfortable within the hockey family. They shouldn’t feel restricted because of the colour of their skin or their gender or their background.
“You see other sports doing their thing and we felt really passionate that we wanted to show our support.
“Moving forwards, we want to continue to educate ourselves, continue our learnings as a squad and also individually. We’re so passionate to help to support GB Hockey in this matter, to really tackle racism. There really is no place for racism in our sport.
“Now is the time to be allies of our black counterparts. For us as role models, to share our opinions and our views but also help support and highlight these issues within our society is something for me that is really, really important.”