Liverpool have issued their staff with guidelines detailing unacceptable words and phrases in a bid to eradicate discrimination.
The club have produced a handbook which highlights common slurs against race, religion, sexual orientation, gender and disability which the club want to stamp out. Included on the list of unwelcome phrases are insults like "don't be a woman," "play like a girl" and "that's gay."
Liverpool's players receive their own guidance as part of a separate Premier League program, and this latest move forms part of a wide-ranging program to help other club employees identify discriminatory language that may be used by supporters on match days.
"As part of the club's continued commitment to tackle all forms of discrimination, as well as promoting its approach to equality and diversity, Liverpool FC has been actively engaged in a full club-wide education and awareness program," Liverpool's social inclusion officer Rishi Jain said.
"This program includes interactive workshops and a handbook which is designed to provide information on the latest equality legislation including information relating to what terminology is deemed as both acceptable and unacceptable. This program of awareness enables our employees to recognize inappropriate language and take the necessary steps to ensure Anfield is free from all forms of discrimination."
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Liverpool confirmed that letter was authentic http://t.co/jmf4bw7zGP #lfc
-- Samuel Luckhurst (@samuelluckhurst) July 30, 2013 Jain added: "Liverpool has been actively working with Kick it Out, Show Racism the Red Card and the Anthony Walker Foundation for many years and has been recognized externally for its contribution to helping tackle discrimination and promote Anfield as an inclusive and welcoming environment. The club has already attained Kick it Out's equality standard preliminary level and has recently submitted its application for the equality standard intermediate level demonstrating its continued commitment."
With the squad returning from their tour of Australia and Asia this week it is likely the focus will soon again be on Luis Suarez, for whom the club have rejected a £40million plus £1 bid from Arsenal. However, former Reds winger John Barnes believes the club cannot afford to delay and should offload the 26-year-old as soon as possible.
"We've seen in the past when transfers go down to the last minute that it doesn't help anybody, especially for a club like Liverpool who, if they lose Suarez, would have to find a big-name replacement," he told talkSPORT . "I'd like it to be done sooner rather than later because if it goes down to the last day, and you then have to go and get somebody, it's not ideal.
Barnes added: "As far as Suarez is concerned, if he's not going to be happy, then he has to go. We can all say, 'Yes, we think Suarez is going to be a player like Carlos Tevez, who gives 100 per cent no matter what' but we don't know what his mental state is going to be if he doesn't get his wish (to leave Liverpool)."
Lord Herman Ouseley, chair of anti-discrimination group Kick It Out, says the guide is a positive step.
"Kick It Out acknowledges the great strides that Liverpool FC has taken over recent times to reiterate their continued commitment to equality," Lord Ouseley said. "The guide forms part of an overall awareness program, and is a positive and proactive step in educating staff and stewards at the club.
"Match day stewards must be trained on dealing with incidents of discrimination and unacceptable behavior in order to eradicate it from our stadiums, and more and more football clubs are using Kick It Out's Equality Standard as a framework to develop this education across all areas of the business."
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