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Hello, everybody. Welcome back to the Garabaldi Red podcast. I'm Max Hayes. And alongside Sarah Clapson today, we're here at Nottingham Forest for a landmark conference event aimed at tackling race, gender, and inequality in football. There's plenty of people here to speak to the likes of Viv Anderson, Thierry Henry, and a few special guests from Nottingham Forest as well, the likes of first-team players from Anthony Alanga. It's a huge event. Marinoacus has invested his own time and money into this event. It's taking place here at the city ground today. So come inside with us, follow us around, and we'll try and speak to some interesting people with some good stories.


It's something that I never had when I was a player. So you look in 2024, these initiatives are really good. Hopefully, things get through to the hierarchy that made the decisions that hopefully we can move on with racism. But I saw the statistics there, it's still up 30 odd %, which is terrible, really.


I think it's self-explanatory. I think everyone's aware of the issues that are in society that are still going on today. Events like these, initiatives, new programs need to be made aware and people need to try and include as many people as possible so we can make changes and we don't have to keep seeing the stuff pop up on Sky Sports. Start especially in Europe as well. We can start making changes and make a better and more comfortable society for everyone.


It's incredible. It's a great initiative. Obviously, it's a big subject in sport and in world in general as well. So for myself to be here to show support is fantastic. And like I said when I spoke in there, if I can educate my children and educate for them to live in a better world where their friends and their potentially family could live in a safe space is something only that I can aspire for them to have.


I'm joined by Swin and Victor from the Punjabi Forest Group. Guys, great to see you here today. It's such an important conference. You've been in a few so far today. Just give us an overview of what you've made of it, really.


Yeah, great to see you, Max. Yeah, real item there. Seeing some of the players, hearing their stories, Lillian Theram, Thierry Henry, and just really sad to hear what they've had to say.


I suppose when you play and you talk about going into coaching. Do you feel a sense of responsibility to play your part in an attempt to try and stop things like this from happening?


I think so, but on the flip side of that, I think everyone's got the same equal responsibility. Even when you're playing, you can be in a little bit of a bubble and you're in a position of privilege, which means even more so that you need to be a bit more active. A lot of people follow us when you're playing. So your voice is listened to. When When you're outside of the game, your pull isn't as strong. I think everyone has a responsibility to do, and hopefully, people see it the same and you can get rid of that minority because it is a minority. That minority, unfortunately, though, has a big influence.


The general population should see themselves as just do the right thing and stop Stop being so awful and stop being that type of person and realize that the world is full of good people, good people that want to be treated the same. I think if you have that mindset and it can only help, it's a lot more to do. Doing conventions and conferences like this is incredible and it's brilliant. But like I said, I think each and every person should look at themselves first. Are they doing everything they can? Because we can do a conference in there and we can talk for hours on end. But then if we leave the the stadium today and you go down the street and the bloke working or the local woman working down the road to say something, it needs to change from the very bottom. The only way to get it is if we educate ourselves and move forward.


It's something that's been talked about for years It's not just in our changing room, but in the world in itself. For me, it's important today to learn something new, to get knowledge. For other players, the young, I've seen the academy players being there. For me, being able to speak out, I hope they can take an example out of that and speak to their teammates when they train tomorrow and say, Oh, I listened to Anthony when he said this, said that. It's something that we talk about in a changing room because it's important to discuss. For me, if we could, like today, if more conferences can be held like this, not just Nottingham, but all the teams take an example out of this, that'd be fantastic.


Just how important, Victor, are these events and also fan groups like yourself?


Very important because for us, it's given us another thinking of what our supporters What does the group could do to help, possibly. The young man, James, who plays in the lower league, still plays. He's the young man that really... When he told me that story about the Santa gifts, and then the gift that was given was bananas. That took me back a lot. I did. I was very sad. And these are the things we've got to reeducate people. Racism is about Reeducated. All of us, we can get in our comfort zone, but it boils down to what you teach your children.


Is it something you're aware of in the dressing room? Is it something that you acknowledge as a group of players?


Yeah, we're together. It's a multicultural sport. I think in our dressing room, we've got different religions, we've got different races, and obviously the LGBTQ plus. We don't know if whether there's people within our dressing room at the moment at Forest or there's certainly people in football that don't have the strength to come out as well. It's important for us to feel like there's a safe space. Obviously, being 28 now, I've been around many addressing rooms. If I can try and educate the next group of players coming through and giving a safe space, really, for players to be able to be themselves, because ultimately, that's all you want, because when you are yourself, you're going to be performing better, you're going to be living a happier life.


I suppose credit as well to the Forest Owners for putting this event on.


Yes, very much so. I think they've done it in Athens somewhere, and they did it somewhere else abroad. I'm glad they've come to Nautingam and tried to showcase the football club.


I've run out of superlatives for the owner and what he brings to this football club and what he's done for me on a personal level, what he continues to do for the community and for the football club is something that doesn't definitely doesn't go on notice and he deserves all the respect he gets. He's an incredible person that you can tell how much this football club means to him and how much the community around this place means to him. It's really good. If you have figureheads like that and powerful people in sport and in the world in general, spearheading these sorts of conferences, then it's only going to help.