Arsenal Midfielder Believes Declan Rice’s “No More Red” Campaign Could Have a Significant Impact

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Arsenal have worn the all-white Adidas kit on two previous occasions – the FA Cup third round against Nottingham Forest in 2022 (pictured) and Oxford United in 2023

Declan Rice says Arsenal’s No More Red campaign, which aims to combat youth knife crime in London, can have a “massive” impact on young people.

Arsenal will wear a white kit for Sunday’s FA Cup third-round tie against Liverpool to highlight the initiative.

The campaign wants to provide more safe spaces so young people can live without fear in their communities.

“You can meet new people, you can meet people who you can talk to and become friends for life,” Rice told BBC Sport.

The one-off kit will not go on sale, but will instead be awarded to individuals who are making a positive difference in the community.

No More Red, an Arsenal initiative supported by Adidas, was launched in January 2022, and has created safe spaces to play football and other sports, and offered schemes to help young people with their careers.

Speaking to BBC sports correspondent Nesta McGregor, Rice said: “When someone like me can say that they felt safe at a spot and comfortable, it can bring more people to do that as well.

“Things like what No More Red has done with the pitches, and those types of spots, it’s obviously such a massive initiative that young people can feed off.”

On New Year’s Eve, Harry Pitman, 16, was stabbed to death in north London shortly before midnight as people watched a fireworks display.

A 16-year-old boy was arrested at the scene in Primrose Hill, Camden on suspicion of murder and later released on bail pending further inquiries.

A 15-year-old boy was arrested on suspicion of murder and an 18-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of affray on Tuesday.

England midfielder Rice, 25, said knife crime incidents are “terrible to see”, but hopes he and other footballers can set the right example to young fans and become inspiring role models.

“To be able to help young kids, to be able to talk and use my voice and be able to show that I was a youngster once and have been in tough positions as well,” he said.

“It’s about education, it’s about having the right support network, whether that’s at school or a safe space where you can go and speak to anyone – it’s so important they can have that.

“For me now, it’s all about youngsters growing up and being happy, feeling comfortable in their environment and living a good life. I feel like that’s the main thing.

“That’s why I like to speak out as a role model. If people hear me talking about it and see if I can help in any way, then I’m sure young people will speak out about it as well.”

Rice, who joined Arsenal in the summer for £105m from West Ham, wants anyone considering carrying a weapon to think about the consequences.

“Have a think about the situation you’re about to put yourself in,” he said.

“Put yourself in a position where if you’re thinking about doing something, what’s going to happen after that and how it’s going to impact your life. It’s not worth it – at any age.

“You never know what unhidden talents you may have.”

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