First-team coach Jason Euell has spoken of his immense pride in being a part of Charlton Athletic’s long-standing work surrounding equality, diversion and inclusion (EDI).
Euell, along with several other Charlton representatives, joined Dr Michael Seeraj, the club’s head of EDI, at The Valley on Tuesday morning to welcome MP Oliver Dowden in light of the ongoing work concerning increasing online abuse.
Speaking at the event, Euell said: “We are here as part of the initiative which is coming from the government and also from us promoting what we do as a football club in terms of our EDI practices.
“It’s just the Minister getting an understanding of what we've been doing as a football club for many, many years. Hopefully that will help promote what we do and promote to others in terms of following our lead or increasing what they’re doing to make sure that we can come to a positive conclusion of how we do our best to stop what’s going on with online crime.”
Euell enjoyed a fruitful stay in SE7 after joining the Addicks in 2001 from AFC Wimbledon, and admits the proactive approach employed by Charlton helped draw him to the club.
“When I first signed, it was about coming from Wimbledon as a family club and coming to Charlton knowing it was another family club. It’s knowing that it was what I believed and the values that I am as a person. Over the years that’s just grown even more. The work that they do is something that sits with me in terms of promoting the right things to the players that I coach or the people that I meet on a day-to-day.
“It’s about how we deal with racism, how we deal with homophobia, how we deal with the social environments and the social stuff we have to deal with. With the players that you work with, they’re coming from those environments and it’s how you can help them and guide them along the way to become not just professional footballers, but also to help them become good people as well and get them to understand that.”
The 44-year-old also explained how much football has changed since his playing career amid advancements in technology and spoke of the role individuals can play by way of educating.
“It’s changed massively, because you go back many years ago and everyone just had a house phone. Then obviously the introduction of a mobile phone and now where technology has taken us. There’s more avenues now of how that can be given to football players.
“In the changing rooms it’s always having to look at the person next to you. How are they doing if they’ve got it or if they’ve had that? How are we going to find out if they’ve had that? It’s a collective of how we try and spread the reporting of it. I think that’s important: not being afraid to report it so it’s getting people aware of what's going on.
“It’s not just targeted from football fans; it’s a social thing as well. This is where we have the social element of educating people, similar to what we all do when there weren't telephones about. It’s just getting everyone on the same page to try and eradicate it.”