Liverpool supporters help fund Everton fan group's Moise Kean anti-racism banner
"It echoes what this city is about, what Scousers are about"
Football equality and inclusion organisation Kick It Out have praised Everton supporters for creating an anti-racism banner featuring Moise Kean.
The banner, which was unfurled before Everton's game with Manchester City on Saturday afternoon, was made after fan group the County Road Bobblers set up an online fundraising campaign following Kean's arrival at Goodison Park from Juventus in the summer. The group were inundated with donations, with supporters of Merseyside rivals Liverpool also contributing.
Kean, an Italian international, had been the victim of racist taunts after scoring a goal for Juventus in a Serie A game at Cagliari in April. After the match, his own captain, Leonardo Bonucci, appeared to apportion some of the blame on to the 19-year-old for the way in which he celebrated his goal.
"For such a young lad to do that [the celebration], was so brave," David Wycherley, a member of the County Road Bobblers, told JOE.
"He's a character that's prepared to stand up against these issues, so I wanted to show him - we wanted to show him as the County Road Bobblers - that we are behind him. We stand with him."
“I think it just echoes what this city is about, what Scousers are about, and what Everton are as a fan base.”@Everton fans are leading the fight against racism with their powerful show of support for Moise Kean #NoAlRazzismo #NoToRacism @CBobblers1878 pic.twitter.com/QO1ucCpNdp
— FootballJOE (@FootballJOE) September 29, 2019
"It's really important that the fans get involved," added Kick It Out representative Keeley Baptista. "We've seen incidents where supporters are starting to self-police within their own stadiums.
"We're only going to become discrimination-free within our stadiums if people report the incidents and promote equality and inclusion."
The banner, which featured a picture of Kean and the message 'No Al Razzismo' ('No To Racism' in Italian), was seen in the Gwladys Street Stand shortly before kick-off with City. Though Everton supporters were responsible for the majority of the donations towards it,Wycherley was pleased that the importance of the message it carried transcended Merseyside footballing rivalries.
"This city is beautiful," Wycherley adds. "We've always had a lot of firsts with diversity. It was the first city to have a Chinese settlement within Europe, it was the first city to have a mosque within the UK.
"It's a diverse city and we're proud of our culture and our inclusion.
"It was predominantly Everton fans [who funded the banner] but also Liverpool fans contributed to it.
"It echoes what this city is about, what Scousers are about."
Kean appeared from the bench in the game against City, which the Premier League champions won 3-1. He thanked supporters for their show of support in a video posted to Everton's social media channels after full-time.
— Everton (@Everton) September 28, 2019