Everton stars Romelu Lukaku and Toni Duggan have backed the latest Kick It Out campaign by becoming Next 20 ambassadors.
Next 20, introduced as part of Kick It Out’s ‘Season of Action’ to mark its 20-year anniversary, champions 20 young football stars from across the Premier League, Football League and Women’s Super League to spread anti-racism messages across the country.
Lukaku and Duggan have been joined in their ambassadorial role by Arsenal full-back Carl Jenkinson, Sheffield United defender Harry Maguire and Norwich City midfielder Nathan Redmond amongst others.
Belgian international Lukaku and England Ladies international Duggan, both feel Next 20 can inspire the next generation of footballers to follow in their footsteps.
“Discrimination of any kind is not acceptable in football and as footballers it is important that we inform young people about how harmful discrimination can be,” said 20-year-old Lukaku.
Liverpool-born Toni has become a key figure for the Three Lionesses since making her debut against Croatia in September 2012.
“I want to use my profile to be a role model for young children, particularly females, who want to make it in football,” said 22-year-old Toni. “I want them to show the same passion I did as a kid and more importantly, demonstrate the key values of Kick It Out.”
Lord Herman Ouseley, Chair of Kick It Out, is thankful that Lukaku and Duggan have decided to back the Next 20 programme and help progress the work of Kick It Out.
He said: “We have had great ambassadors over our 20 years of campaigning and we believe this generation of young footballers will help us in rooting out discriminatory behaviour in the game.”
Here is the list of the Next 20 players in full:
Carl Jenkinson (Arsenal FC)
Jordan Nobbs (Arsenal Ladies FC)
Danny Rose (Barnsley FC)
Jason Lowe (Blackburn Rovers FC)
Dylan Lall (Brighton & Hove Albion FC)
Nathaniel Chalobah (Chelsea FC on loan at Nottingham Forest FC)
Callum Wilson (Coventry City FC)
Romelu Lukaku (Everton FC)
Toni Duggan (Everton Ladies FC)
Andre Wisdom (Liverpool FC on loan at Derby County FC)
Daniel Powell (MK Dons FC)
Gael Bigirimana (Newcastle United FC)
Nathan Redmond (Norwich City FC)
Jamaal Lascelles (Nottingham Forest FC)
Michael Harriman (Queens Park Rangers FC on loan at Gillingham FC)
Harry Maguire (Sheffield United FC)
Jack Butland (Stoke City FC on loan at Barnsley FC)
Ben Davies (Swansea City FC)
Wesley Foderingham (Swindon Town FC)
Romaine Sawyers (Walsall FC)