Smith Rowe and Maitland-Niles to play for new team tackling racism

Arsenal stars Emile Smith Rowe and Ainsley Maitland-Niles join Anton Ferdinand and Ravel Morrison in giving their support to a new team aimed at raising awareness about racism and mental health in sport

  • Other footballers including Michael Hector and Adrian Mariappa are also playing
  • Former professional footballer Marvin Morgan is the founder of Fresh Ego FC
  • The London-based side will be sponsored by Xbox and have kits made by Puma
  • The side will put on workshops about racism and mental health for schoolkids

Emile Smith Rowe and Ainsley Maitland-Niles are among a host of players who have lent their support to a new team aiming to raise awareness about issues including racism and mental health in sport.

The Arsenal duo, Anton Ferdinand, Ravel Morrison, Michael Hector, Adrian Mariappa, Marvin Sordell and a string of names from the entertainment, fashion and music worlds will put their boots on for a good cause and turn out for Fresh Ego FC.

The team is the brainchild of Hornchurch striker Marvin Morgan, who launched the successful streetwear brand Fresh Ego Kid earlier in his playing career, which is now worn by a long list of celebrities.

Emile Smith Rowe and Ainsley Maitland-Niles have both offered their support to Fresh Ego FC

The team is the brainchild of Marvin Morgan and aims to address racism and mental health

Xbox will be the London-based side’s shirt sponsor and Puma will be the kit manufacturer

And Morgan has signed up a number of familiar faces to boost the team on the pitch but also help their aims off it, while giant brands such as kit provider Puma and shirt sponsor Xbox will also spread the word after agreeing major sponsorship deals for the new season.

Fresh Ego FC will put on workshops and talks about mental health issues and tackling racism with local schools and youth football teams.

Via filmed content released throughout the season involving team members and partnerships with schools, Fresh Ego FC hope to also help inspire youngsters to get involved in sport.

Funds from ticket sales for their games and signed and auctioned football shirts will help raise money for equality and inclusion organisation Kick It Out and other grassroots charities.

Former Shrewsbury, Plymouth and Aldershot striker Morgan said: ‘Racism is a social issue so vast that it needs a targeted approach aimed squarely at young people in local communities around the country. 

‘By educating young people and engaging in constructive conversation about racism and bias we have a chance to change the narrative for future generations. 

‘With people around the world more motivated than ever, there has never been a better time to tackle this issue however uncomfortable the discussion can be.

New Derby midfielder Ravel Morrison is another footballer set to be lace up his boots

‘Football is the perfect medium through which to engage young people and communities – uniting millions regardless of age, gender, race or cultural background.

‘The sport is an ongoing source of entertainment and inspiration, producing champions whose voices are heard throughout society and government.

‘At Fresh Ego FC we have a strong love of the game, with team members with lived experience of racism and mental health. This makes us perfectly positioned to connect with the people we aim to reach.’

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