Ahead of this weekend’s Erase Racism Round Bruce Djite discusses his passion for the joint FFA and PFA initiative and shares his insights into the invaluable work undertaken by All Together Now.

Q. How did your involvement with All Together Now as an Ambassador come about?

 BD: Sam Chadwick, from the FFA, is a Director and he called me and asked if I would be interested in becoming an ambassador for All Together Now and explained the cause and what they were trying to achieve and I thought it was an organisation I wanted to be aligned to and it is definitely a cause I want to help raise awareness for. It was a very easy decision.

Q. Is this a cause you had long been passionate about?

BD: I have an interesting mix and background of where I have lived and grown up and I think that is a blessing. I think it really helps you to see many situations from all different angles and you have a better understanding of what people are trying to say or do in different scenarios and it really opens up your mind. For me it becomes really natural because of my background and the multiple countries I have lived in. I really believe in what All Together Now is doing and I think they are making some great changes. There is no place for racism in Australian football or the broader community and that is something I’m really passionate about.

Q. What role does football have to play in erasing racism from Australia?

BD: Football has always been a leader in a global sense. It would be silly for a game that is so diverse and multicultural for us not to leverage that to try to make the community that we live in better, that would be a big miss if we didn’t take it.

Q. Has football had a big impact on your views and beliefs?

BD: Football is such a multicultural sport and it broadens your horizons. The last couple of years I have learnt a lot about Spain and different regions there, like Catalonia where people are very eager to have independence. I have heard it said before that if the world was a book then not travelling is like just reading one page. You can chose to live in a bubble and be ignorant or you can chose to experience life and football presents you with these opportunities.

Q. How do we ensure the Erase Racism Round has its greatest impact?

BD: The best and most effective way for anything to happen is for the players to buy into it and the players have done that. I think the players are keen on the idea. If we can engage the fans and be a real part of it we can make an impact on society.

Q. Why are the fans so important to the Erase Racism Round?

BD: The fans are the key stakeholders in all aspects of the game, including this round. As the key stakeholders their engagement is essential in what we are trying to achieve, which is more tolerant Australia.

Q. Finally, how important is the Erase Racism Round for All Together Now?

BD: This is massive for them. All Together Now is an organisation built on volunteers and is punching above its weight. With All Together Now it’s about using all the money raised to put towards programs and initiatives that are very important and go towards creating a more tolerant society. Money raised is just one metric of what we are trying to achieve we are also trying to make people more tolerant and to highlight the many benefits of multiculturalism, if we can do that that will be a big win.

Image by Chad Gibson/Local FC, www.localfc.com.au.