Rio Ferdinand and Zoe Kalar Launch a Campaign on WeAre8 to Empower Change and Take a Stand Against Racism in Football

Rio Ferdinand and Zoe Kalar, founder of WeAre8, the revolutionary social media platform, have announced a ground breaking campaign today called Blow The Whistle - built to take a stand against racism and empower people to unite for much needed change.  

During the Euros 2021, the world watched as England's black players were subjected to a storm of racial abuse on social media. Sadly, the situation has not improved, and the 2022/2023 season witnessed a record volume of reports of discriminatory behaviour. With online abuse rising by a staggering 279% compared to the previous season.  Just four weeks ago, Real Madrid player Vinicius Junior broke down in tears as he talked about the racism he has endured throughout his career and the deep impact it has had on his mental health and desire to play. 

The perpetrators and trolls responsible, hide behind anonymous social media accounts.  The tech giants continue to cite ‘freedom of speech’ as an acceptable reason for enabling abuse across their platforms - all while profiting financially from the attention this brings them and leaving millions of fans worldwide as bystanders.

Ahead of this year’s Euros, Zoe Kalar and Rio Ferdinand are determined not to let history repeat itself.

Blow The Whistle, will raise awareness about the continued prevalence of racial abuse in football and its profound impact on players, fans, communities, and the sport as a whole, from the England team to local grassroots clubs.  It will empower the world to stand together in a safe social home and say no to racism. 

With WeAre8’s unique application of validated identity and recognition / AI infrastructure, players, fans and families now have a safe social alternative where anonymous accounts are not accepted and directed hate isn’t tolerated. With the tech framework in place, players and fans can feel free to express their biggest selves without fear of negativity and abuse. 

WeAre8’s transformational economic model also gives back the majority of ad revenue to citizens, community groups, charities, creators, and planet projects every time an advert is watched. 

And through WeAre8’s centralised wallet, people can pay their earnings from watching ads forward to communities they care about. This campaign is backing Common Goal’s ‘Anti-Racist Project’ - which supports training, community competitions and advocacy projects aimed at combating racism in football. 

Rio Ferdinand, former England Captain and WeAre8 partner and investor commented, “I know first-hand what it’s like to experience racism online and the impact that it has on your mental health. I’m fortunate enough to have a good support system that has got me through the dark times but what about those who don’t? I don’t want to see another summer of football marred by the unacceptable abuse and racism that Black players experience. Enough is enough and alongside the WeAre8 community, we can lead the charge in tackling this issue and raise much needed funds to support Common Goal’s anti-racism project’.

Zoe Kalar, Founder, WeAre8 said, “WeAre8 stands united against directed hate and abuse of any kind. Racism in football, and in every part of a healthy society  is unacceptable. Our technology, leadership, and community, is created to change the  status quo and treat everyone with dignity and respect. We want to inspire and empower the footballing world to stand together in a safe social home and unequivocally say no to racism.”

Blow the Whistle invites individuals to get involved and be part of the change:

  1. Join WeAre8: Download the WeAre8 app from the Apple App Store or Google Play and find your safe social home where expressing yourself is valued, and unity is celebrated.
  2. Share Your thoughts on what is possible: Use the campaign hashtags #TogetherWeSayNo and #UnitedWeStand to share your stories on how football can unite and grow community and collaboration. We aim to promote the possibility of a positive united world.  Together, we can amplify our voices and make a powerful collective statement.
  3. Say No to Racism: Stand up against racist abuse whenever you see it or experience it on the other platforms. Report incidents, challenge discriminatory behaviour, and support initiatives that combat racism in football.
  4. Pay It Forward: Use WeAre8's centralised wallet to contribute to the Common Goal 'Anti-Racist Project.' Your contributions will support essential programs and initiatives that make a tangible impact in the fight against racism in football.

WeAre8 wants to create a future where racism has no place online or on the football pitch. We urge fans, players, and communities around the world to join us in standing united against racism ahead of the Euros and Olympics. 

Together, we can eradicate racism from our beloved sport and create a future where every player, fan, and community member feels safe, valued, and respected both on and offline.

#TogetherWeSayNo #UnitedWeStand

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