Arsenal Will Wear All-White This Weekend In Powerful Knife Crime Message

Arsenal - white kit
Credit: ArsenalFC.com

Arsenal will wear an all-white kit this weekend in their FA Cup match with Nottingham Forest for an incredible cause.

As part of a new campaign, Arsenal have announced that they will replace their iconic red home shirt with an entirely white kit for the upcoming Emirates FA Cup tie against Nottingham Forest. The kit will never be available for sale and will only ever be awarded to individuals who are making a positive difference in the community.

The Gunners are vowing “no more red” in an attempt to make a statement on the pitch against knife crime and youth violence. Twenty-seven teenagers were stabbed to death in London in 2021, with teen homicides in the capital the highest since 2008 despite a national lockdown.

“No More Red is an initiative between Arsenal and adidas that will see adidas support the long-standing work being done by Arsenal in the Community to keep young people safe from knife crime and youth violence.

“There were more than 10,000 knife crime offences in London between June 2020 – June 2021. Last year also saw the highest number of teenage murders in a year in London since records began – most of which involved knife attacks.”

The club have also removed the colour red from all their social media accountsas part of the initiative.

Sharing the news on the official club website, Arsenal confirmed the partnership with Adidas, in collaboration with actor Idris Elba and Arsenal legend Ian Wright, while sharing photos of players Bukayo Saka, Kieran Tierney, Nuno Tavares and Gabriel Martinelli in the kit.

“No More Red will build on Arsenal in the Community’s work with young people in the capital, as well as providing more safe, positive spaces for young people and spotlighting talented individuals who are making a positive difference in their community.”

Arsenal confirmed that Adidas will support the intiative through investing in creating and refurbishing safe spaces to play football – starting with the pitch on Harvist Estate just minutes away from Emirates Stadium.

The sportswear brand will also creating a “No More Red” mentorship scheme where young people doing positive work in the community will be supported by creative talent including Idris Elba, Ian Wright, DJ Emerald Rose Lewis and artist Reuben Dangoor among others.

Adidas have also vowed to “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.

The kit will not go on sale, but will instead be given to community organisations. The ten shirts worn by Arsenal’s starting outfield players will be gifted to Arsenal in the Community, The Stephen Lawrence Day Foundation, Steel Warriors, Don’t Stab Your Future, Box Up Crime, Copenhagen Youth Project, St Giles Trust, Abianda, Octopus Community Network and The Ben Kinsella Trust.

The latter was set up after Ben Kinsella, brother of EastEnders actress Brooke Kinsella, was tragically murdered aged 16 in 2008. All ten organisations work to address some of the root causes of knife crime and youth violence.

Actor Idris Elba is the founder of one of the beneficiaries of the shirt – Don’t Stab Your Future – and will be a mentor as part of No More Red.The Thor and Luther actor spoke out about how tragedy can strike out of seemingly nothing.

“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.”

Meanwhile, Ian Wright MBE, Arsenal legend and Match of the Day presenter, added that the loss of life through violence must never be accepted.

“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.”

The hope is that the shirt will become a “symbol of positivity in the community” with Arsenal and Adidas confirming No More Red as a “long-term commitment” to providing more safe spaces, education and opportunity for young people.

You can find out more information about the No More Red campaign here.

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