Football and rugby union will show their support for the LGBT community at the weekend by hosting a Rainbow Laces takeover.

The Rainbow Laces campaign aims to tackle homophobic, biphobic and transphobic attitudes in sport.

Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool are among the Premier League clubs showing their support for the campaign, while Premiership Rugby, the Rugby Football Union and Welsh Rugby will also be taking part in Rainbow Laces themed events around the UK, and referees will wear rainbow-coloured laces.

Wembley Arch will be lit up in rainbow colours on Saturday.

“The Premier League is all about exciting, passionate and unpredictable football that is for everyone, everywhere,” Premier League executive chairman Richard Scudamore said.

“The Rainbow Laces campaign complements the work clubs are doing to promote inclusion and diversity in their stadiums, and across all levels of the sport.”

Ian Ritchie, chief executive of the RFU, said: “The Rugby Football Union is proud to support Stonewall and the Rainbow Laces campaign.

“We believe rugby’s core values of respect, teamwork and sportsmanship resonate with what is at the heart of this important campaign.”

The Rainbow Laces campaign was launched by LGBT equality charity Stonewall in 2013.

Ruth Hunt, Stonewall’s chief executive, said: “The research we released earlier this year gave a clear indication of what needed to happen for sport to become more inclusive. Research made it clear that if things were going to change we would need the support from across sport. It’s crucial for organisations like the Premier League, The Football Association and the Rugby Premiership to show they welcome lesbian, gay, bi and trans people. At the moment, many LGBT people want to take part in sport, either as players or fans, but the abuse and hate from a minority of fans can make them feel unsafe, unwelcome or unable to be themselves.

“We know the majority of sports fans want a better, more inclusive game. This campaign is about encouraging people to step up and say they will not stand for abuse and the support of football and rugby clubs and associations is crucial because it gives people the confidence to do that.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *