'It starts with humility' - Williams tells all athletes to unite against racism


Matildas goalkeeper Lydia Williams believes humility is the key to curbing the presence of racism in professional sport and the wider community.

Williams is one of a host of Australian athletes set to stand in solidarity against racism and champion the We Got You campaign.

Alongside Patrick Dangerfield (AFL), Daly Cherry-Evans (NRL) and Erin Phillips (WNBA/AFLW), Williams' cross-code alliance will aim to amplify issues surrounding equality, diversity and inclusivity from the grassroots to the professional game.

A proud Noongar woman, Williams is no stranger to discrimination, but believes humility can breed a better understanding during such a sensitive time.

"None of us would be in our positions if we were prideful," the 32-year-old told The World Game via a conference call. "We listened to our coaches (who knew more).

"With the movement that's happening now, you have to ask someone that has more knowledge than you do.

"It starts with humility."

Having won the W-League championship with Melbourne City last season, Williams will now test herself abroad with English Women's Super League heavyweights Arsenal.

Led by Australian coach Joe Montemurro, the Gunners now boast three Matildas in their ranks, with Caitlin Foord and Steph Catley already on board for next season.

But while England represents unknown territory for the esteemed shot-stopper, she hopes the We Got You initiative will bear fruit once supporters return to stadiums.

"A lot of the abuse is fan-based," Williams said. "It comes down to being educated and calling it out.

"There are some harsh punishments being put down with better cameras in stadiums helping ban people... but hopefully people and countries can combine forces."

Fellow stars Joe Ingles (NBA), Peter Siddle (cricket), Scott Sio (Super Rugby) and Romelda Aiken (netball) also showed their support for the campaign, and Williams hopes this collective approach makes a meaningful difference.

"The need for all athletes to unite and work together to take necessary steps to end racism in sport is so very important," she said.

“To see these particular athletes come together and make this kind of a commitment towards supporting the minority at all levels of sports is empowering and gives me hope that change can happen.

"I am in full support of this initiative and the impact of positivity it will have over Australia.”