Today, Monday 8th September, Metro newspaper ran rainbow laces and colours throughout the newspaper, featured an interview with Thomas Hitzlsperger, the only openly gay player to have played in the Premier League, and contained themed adverts from brands that support #RainbowLaces.
Research by gay rights charity, Stonewall, shows that seven in ten football fans have heard or witnessed homophobia on the terraces and over 40 per cent believe football to be an anti-gay sport, with not one openly gay professional player in the UK.
A pair of rainbow coloured boot laces has been sent to every professional football player, as well as MPs and leading political figures, in a bid to get them lacing up on the weekend of 13th and 14th September.
The campaign sees Stonewall join forces with Paddy Power, and the Gay Football Supporters’ Network, with support from the Premier League, and two of the nation’s most prolific football teams: Arsenal and Man City. Some of the UK’s best-known brands like Smirnoff, Sky, Facebook, Heiniken, Virgin, British Gas, Starbucks and Halifax will also show their support.
Ruth Hunt, Chief Executive of Stonewall, said: “Last year’s Rainbow Laces was a great start but there’s still a long way to go to tackle homophobia both on and off the pitch. The clubs and players supporting the campaign and lacing up this weekend are taking a powerful stand against homophobia in our national game.”