Arsenal will wear an all-white kit for this weekend’s FA Cup clash with Nottingham Forest as part of adidas’ “No More Red” campaign to end youth violence.
The special edition, one-off shirts feature a “white-out” look, with all printed details toned back to create a blank space, raising awareness of knife crime and the organisations working to stop it.
The “No More Red” campaign is backed by Arsenal legend Ian Wright, and A-List man of many talents, Idris Elba.
Wright and Elba will support mentoring schemes close to the Emirates Stadium, whilst football facilities will be renovated on the nearby Harvist Estate to help create safe spaces for sport.
Sadly, 2021 saw the highest number of teenage murders in a year in London since records began, most of which involved knives.
In addition to this, more than 10,000 knife crime offences were recorded in the capital between June 2020 and June 2021.
This is a shirt that Arsenal want young people to earn the privilege to wear.
The Gunners will not make the kit commercially available and will instead gift the matchworn shirts to organisations such as The Stephen Lawrence Day Foundation and The Ben Kinsella Trust, who seek to provide young people with pathways away from violence, and safe environments for them to live and work in.
More of the ultra-rare shirts will be awarded to individuals who make a positive difference in their communities.
There will be those who’ll question why Arsenal should want to wear a colour so closely associated with Tottenham Hotspur, but we should remind those people that this will not be the first time the club has worn white shirts and in any case, this is a cause bigger than local rivalries.
Of course, Arsenal would have swapped their usual red shirts for the visit to Nottingham Forest’s City Ground on Sunday afternoon anyway, but we must applaud the club and adidas for making this statement.
“Every young person deserves the opportunity to express themselves. The opportunity to exist within a safe environment,”
“The opportunity to live free from fear of violence. We can never accept loss of life through youth violence as ‘normal’ in our city and it’s so important that we all work together to create a better environment for young people.
“By giving young people more places to play sport, more support, and access to individuals who can inspire them, together we can help make a difference to young people in London.”Ian Wright, MBE & Arsenal legend