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‘Inclusion is a family’: Arsenal’s sign language change is spreading the love

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The majority of football matches are middling to dull, and before the start of every season, the majority of fans know their team will spend it ensconced in mediocrity.

So why do we keep coming back? Max Parsons has been going to Arsenal all his life, since the Highbury days – “I used to go with my dad but he’s stopped, he’s an old man,” he says. “Arsenal’s like family to me.

And it’s part of my love. I have a partner, a son, and I feel like I love Arsenal as well. That’s my life.” Because he is deaf, he has never felt quite fully welcomed – until now, thanks to the incorporation of British Sign Language into everything that happens on the Emirates’ big screens.

It is a first for Premier League clubs. Jon Dyster, the club’s disability access manager, says: “We have a British Sign Language interpreter pitchside for all of our content, pre-match and half-time.

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