Nottingham Forest defender Jamaal Lascelles and on-loan midfielder Nathaniel Chalobah have today been announced as part of a new initiative, entitled the Next 20.The initiative, launched by Kick It Out champions 20 young football stars across the Premier League, Football League and Women’s Super League (WSL).
The Next 20, which was introduced as part of the organisation’s ‘Season of Action’ to mark its 20-year anniversary, will see players including Lascelles and Chalobah, Arsenal full back Carl Jenkinson, Sheffield United centre back Harry Maguire and Everton Ladies star Toni Duggan raise awareness of Kick It Out through a varied set of activities within the community.
Lascelles, who was born in Derby, studied at West Park School. The 19-year-old progressed through the Academy set-up at Forest and made his debut for the first team against Burnley in 2012. He hopes that his profile in both the football and wider community will help him promote the importance of equality and inclusion.
Lascelles said: “I am looking forward to being part of this Next 20 initiative for Kick It Out. I want to help them in promoting that football is a game for everyone to enjoy.”
Chalobah joined Forest on loan from Chelsea in September. He was inspired to get involved with the Next 20 after hearing Kick It Out trustee Garth Crooks recount the racism he suffered during his playing days in a presentation for the England Under 21s team prior to their 6-0 victory over Scotland in August.
Chalobah said: “The horrific abuse that Garth and other black players suffered during that time was a real eye opener and inspired me to want to support this fantastic new campaign. We have to take the message forward that discrimination has no place in our game or our communities and I’m proud to be part of the Next 20 initiative.”
Lord Herman Ouseley, chair of Kick It Out, is thankful that Lascelles, Chalobah and a host of others 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)
Romelu Lukaku (Chelsea FC on loan at Everton FC)
Callum Wilson (Coventry City 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)