Football holds a deeply special place in the hearts of millions of people globally. However, it continues to receive a sizeable portion of bad press because of racism from fans and at times club managers and officials.
In a world where a lot people seek to create egalitarian societies, racism remains an ongoing issue that needs action more than condemnation alone.

It was therefore a welcome move when Spanish national team striker, Adama Traoré, who is on loan to Barcelona, from Wolverhampton Wanderers for the remainder of the season, joined Common Goal to tackle racial discrimination in football.

He joins a long list of footballers and managers who have pledged 1% of their salary via Common Goal, the social impact movement in global football. There are more than 200 professional players and managers from 45 nationalities on the team, including Pernille Harder, Paulo Dybala, Vivianne Miedema, Jürgen Klopp, Serge Gnabry, Christiane Endler and Giorgio Chiellini.

Rated as one of the English Premier League’s fastest players, he pledged 1% of his salary to Common Goal’s anti-racism project. He directing his 1% pledge to the Anti-Racist Project(ARP), whose aim is to tackle racism on the field, on the sidelines, and across communities.
Traoré is no stranger to tough competition; with over 100 appearances in the Premier League, he has battled against the best.
But now, through team play and collective action, he is looking to fight a different type of opponent, one of the greatest social challenges of our time: racial discrimination.

ARP is an action-based programme aimed at ending racism in football through comprehensive anti-racism training for decision makers such as club owners and presidents, professional and grassroots coaches, players of all levels, and fans.

ARP was launched last year in the US with a coalition of industry leaders including clubs such as Chicago Fire, Angel City and Oakland Roots, plus professional players including the Manchester City and United States goalkeeper Zack Steffen, and also the largest fan group in the country, the American Outlaws.

After the success of ARP in North America, Traoré aims to help Common Goal grow the project in Europe. Common Goal was launched in 2017 when a single player, Juan Mata of Manchester United and Spain, committed to pledge 1% of his salary to a collective fund that invests in high-impact community organisations using football to empower young people.

Mata told the “It’s fantastic to see another person from the Premier League join myself, Kasper Schmeichel and Jürgen Klopp in this growing team of now over 200 professionals from around the world. In England there are so many inspiring female players that are already Common Goal members, and I hope that Adama joining the movement in order to take tangible action on tackling racism will inspire other male colleagues from the Premier League to join the movement. One per cent is almost nothing, but together we can create meaningful change and the time to act is now.”

Through his pledge, he aims to help foster a game that celebrates diversity, embraces each other’s differences, and brings people together.
“All too often in football the headlines are stolen by racist actions,” he said.

“In the last two or three years alone, I have lost count of how many times my fellow professionals have been subjected to racist abuse.

“Despite the headlines, despite the punishments, and despite the outcry, nothing changes and we end up waiting for the next incident to come around.

“It is so disheartening to see this cycle continue…
“But it doesn’t have to be this way, because as a global community we can collectively force change.
“If I’ve learned anything in my career, it’s that leading with action instead of empty talk is what really counts in making a difference, on or off the field.”

And, while his pledge will be used to help combat racism, Traoré is looking forward to the day when this is no longer needed.
“Honestly, I wish I lived in a world where my pledge wasn’t needed to fight racism. I wish it could be used for another impact area because racism was no longer an issue plaguing our society,” he said.

“Unfortunately, that is not the case, which is why it’s important for me this year to use my platform and be a part of the solution. The Anti-Racist Project is a mission that I truly believe can make a difference.

“The project uses anti-racist training to tackle systemic racism across all levels of professional and grassroots football, with the ultimate goal of creating more inclusive and diverse environments that celebrate our differences and foster community.

“Common Goal is all about teamwork. I know that my 1% alone isn’t going to fix this problem, and I know my voice alone won’t solve systemic racism.

“But, if I can encourage others to join me in this fight, the impact we can make is exponential. With collective action, we can create a clear path forward that leads us towards real change.

“You might not think your 1% matters, but I’m telling you it does. When we all come together to tackle a common goal, nothing can stand in our way.” –; (with additional reporting from

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