Arsenal will take to the field for the FA Cup third round clash with Nottingham Forest on Sunday in an all-white kit as part of a new initiative aimed at tackling knife crime and youth violence.
The ‘No More Red’ campaign – in partnership with Adidas – intends to support the long-standing work being done by Arsenal in the Community to protect young people from these issues, by providing them with safe and positive spaces.
The Gunners have historically worn red after receiving a set of redcurrant kits as a charitable donation from Forest shortly after they were founded as Dial Square FC in 1886.
They will now change colours though, as they seek to combat the issue of knife crime after it was confirmed last week that 30 teenagers in London lost their lives because of it last year.
This is the most in the capital in any year and surpasses the previous high of 29 in 2008.
The campaign has received support from creative influences such as Arsenal legend Ian Wright.
“Every young person deserves the opportunity to express themselves,” Wright said. “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.”
Idris Elba will also be a ‘No More Red’ mentor and stated that he was keen to focus on helping keep young people away from trouble during the period after school.
“From the time young people leave school, until the time they’re at home with family, there is often a void, a dangerous spike of nothing to do, where nothing can easily turn to something dangerous,” the actor said.
“If there continues to be no options for this after-school period, we will always see gangs form. Let’s create options for these young people.”
The kit will not be commercially available to purchase. Instead, they will be awarded to individuals who are making a positive contribution to the community.
Arsenal’s Women will not be wearing the shirt for their WSL clash against Birmingham on Sunday due to league restrictions.
They do, however, intend to wear an all-white anthem jacket as they walk onto the pitch before the game to show support for the cause.