(April 18, 2019 / JNS) Chelsea Football Club and the New England Revolution announced on Wednesday that the two teams will be taking part in this year’s March of the Living event in Poland, held annually on Thursday, May 2. The teams’ participation will be the latest activity in a continuing series of commitments both organizations have made as part of a joint effort between Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich and the Kraft family, who own the Revolution, to harness the power of sport to combat anti-Semitism and discrimination around the world.
The March of the Living brings people from around the world together to explore the history of the Holocaust, with an expected 10,000 people this year joining the two-mile march from Auschwitz to Birkenau. Since its inception in 1988, more than 260,000 individuals from 52 countries have marched down the same path on Holocaust Remembrance Day (Yom Hashoah), as a tribute to all victims of the Holocaust.
Last year, Chelsea FC was the first Premier League club to ever send a delegation to the march. This year, Chelsea will be joined by the Revolution, whose participation will represent the first appearance by a U.S. team. Participating from Chelsea will be Director Eugene Tenenbaum, CEO Guy Laurence, former manager Avram Grant, and Club Ambassador Steve Redgrave. Participants from the Revolution include President Brian Bilello and Club Ambassador Charlie Davies.
“Chelsea is honored to participate in the March of the Living for the second year in a row,” said Tenenbaum. “We started this initiative to raise awareness of and tackle anti-Semitism in all its forms more than a year ago, and sharing this experience of paying our respects to the millions of Jews who lost their lives in the Holocaust with members of the New England Revolution goes a long way in spreading the message of unity and tolerance.”
Bilello echoed the sentiment, saying, “The New England Revolution are honored to join the March of the Living this year to recognize the legacy of those who lost their lives in the Holocaust. With prejudice and hate crimes on the rise, we feel it’s important to use our voice to help combat discrimination of any kind and we are proud to partner with Chelsea to help promote equality and tolerance.”
Just days after the march, Chelsea and the Revolution will meet again in Boston to compete in the “Final Whistle on Hate” charity match, scheduled for Wednesday, May 15.
All proceeds will go towards raising funds for projects promoting equality and tolerance. The match’s primary beneficiaries will include the World Jewish Congress, the Tree of Life synagogue, the Anti-Defamation League and the Holocaust Educational Trust. Representatives from these and other anti-discrimination organizations will be invited to attend the game, while ownership of each team will also donate $1 million in support of the cause.