popular STAND has always been here as an independent platform for supporters to speak out. That’s why it was founded 22 years ago.
When I took over as editor in 2011, after a decade writing for the ‘zine, I was determined, and proud, to uphold that ethos. And I was also determined to use the fanzine to showcase the very best of our town. Not only through platforming great writers, but also supporting and backing great causes, from and in Doncaster.
It’s why we’ve pushed and promoted and championed Doncaster Belles. It’s why we’ve donated over £9,000 to local charities making a difference in our communities for often forgotten groups. It’s why we’ve backed initiatives Football v Homophobia, and Kick Racism Out of Football.
And though I may have disposed of the admirable ‘you write it, we print it’ mantra that previous editors adopted. I have always said that this fanzine is not a closed shop or a clique. It’s open to anyone, and if you have something you want to share with our audience we’re here for you.
But. And this a hefty but. Just backing campaigns and being open to contributions from anyone isn’t enough.
Today I wanted to show our support for Black Lives Matter campaign by amplifying previous pieces we have printed and published on this theme. And whilst there are some – such as Jack the Miner’s excellent piece on Charlie Williams – there really isn’t much to choose from.
I’ve made sure we always have a female voice within our Fan Panel feature, and that we’ve supported and donated to women’s charities and campaigns in Doncaster. But what have I, as editor, done for BAME supporters?
Like me, all of our regular contributors are white men. Each one of them socially and politically aware enough to share in the ‘zine’s ethos of course. But still, 100% white. And, to my mind, I don’t think in our 22 year history we’ve ever printed a piece written by a non-white person.
Now, it’s easy to look around the stands on a match day and just conclude “well, we are, and always have been, just a very white support-base, so that figures”. But we’re not an exclusively white town? So, are we actually doing enough? Is just sharing messages of anti-racism enough?
Until now I clearly thought that it was. That stating ‘Kick It Out’ every year and calling out the racism we see and hear was enough. And yes, it’s a start. But I can, and we can, do more.
If you’re a BAME football supporter – or if you’re a BAME person from, or living in, Doncaster – and you have something you want to say to your fellow fans, your fellow townsfolk, I want to hear from you. I want to hear from you now. And I want to keep on hearing from you. popular STAND is for everyone, and your voice and your experience matters; if we’re going to properly live that ethos.
If you, as a black football fan, or black Doncastrian, have something you want to write; something you want to see on our website, something you want to see on our pages, be it now, next month, next year or whenever, my inbox is very much open.
I don’t want our pages to be a white mirror to white stands. Black lives matter, black voices matter, and popular STAND fanzine will do what it can to listen, learn and amplify.
You can contact popular STAND fanzine by email via firstname.lastname@example.org, or feel free to reach out to us on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.