Fenway Sports Group Partners With United Nations And Eradicate Hate Global Summit To Combat Hate Speech Through Sports

10 August 2023

Fenway Sports Group has joined forces with the United Nations (U.N.) and the Eradicate Hate Global Summit to leverage its platforms, partnerships, and sports teams in support of the U.N.’s Office on Genocide Prevention's efforts to combat hate speech and hate-driven extremism through the medium of sports. This initiative involves collaboration with leagues and teams from across the globe, uniting to establish a Sports Working Group with the goal of formulating best practices that sports organizations and communities can employ to counter hate.

Alice Wairimu Nderitu, Under-Secretary-General and United Nations Special Advisor on the Prevention of Genocide, highlighted the U.N.'s priority of tackling hate speech and emphasized the potential of sports as a powerful unifying force to advance this cause. She stated, "Sports is a powerful unifier that is both personal yet also universal and shared. We believe it can make a difference for fans to hear their favorite athletes, teams, and leagues speak with a unified voice condemning hate-fueled extremism."

Linda Henry, Partner of Fenway Sports Group, noted the year-long collaboration between FSG, the U.N., and the Eradicate Hate Global Summit to mobilize the global sports community for this crucial endeavor. She emphasized the capacity of the sports world to impact attitudes and perceptions, stressing the responsibility to combat hate speech. She stated, "The global sports community wields tremendous influence that can shift viewpoints and attitudes and our goal is to help the Special Advisor by using the power of sports to break through to communities in a way that transcends borders, languages, and cultures."

Recently, FSG organized a gathering of the Sports Working Group in Boston, drawing together representatives from the region's professional sports teams, universities, and non-profit organizations. Attendees included teams under FSG (Boston Red Sox, Liverpool F.C., and Pittsburgh Penguins), as well as Boston Bruins, Boston Celtics, New England Patriots, New England Revolution, Harvard University, Emmanuel College, Roxbury Community College, and the Kraft Group's Foundation to Combat Antisemitism. A parallel assembly was hosted by Liverpool F.C. earlier this year at Anfield Stadium, engaging Premier League clubs, football authorities, and several major U.K. and U.S. sports teams, including Formula 1, Lawn Tennis Association (LTA), Major League Baseball (MLB), National Football League (NFL), National Hockey League (NHL), NASCAR, Rugby England, and Rugby Football League.

Laura Ellsworth, Co-Chair of the Sports Working Group and the Eradicate Hate Global Summit, acknowledged the strength derived from the collaboration's remarkable partners. She praised the global influence of the U.N. and the expertise of the Eradicate Hate Global Summit, underscoring the essential role played by Fenway Sports Group in connecting with sports contacts worldwide. Ellsworth encouraged sports organizations interested in contributing to this vital cause to participate in this year's Eradicate Hate Global Summit scheduled for September 27-29 in Pittsburgh.

The upcoming Eradicate Hate Global Summit will serve as a pivotal platform for the Sports Working Group, offering an opportunity for organizations and individuals to register and actively participate in fostering a more inclusive and hate-free sports community.