Rainbow Laces | Read Time 3-5 Minutes.
The Rainbow Laces Campaign
The Rainbow Laces campaign was set up to tackle the issue of discrimination in sport. It was initiated in 2013 by LGBTQ+ equality charity Stonewall. The Stonewall Charity discovered 43% of the UK’s public agree that sporting events are not a welcoming space for LGBTQ+ people.
The main aim of the Rainbow Laces campaign is to fight homophobia, biphobia and transphobia in sport. They achieve this by supplying professional football players in the UK with rainbow-coloured football laces.
Why are football and rugby players wearing rainbow laces?
Rainbow Laces day was on the 9th December 2020. Across the UK, football and rugby clubs are currently showing their support for the LGBT community. Football and rugby professionals are getting involved by wearing rainbow laces to raise awareness and promote acceptance.
The campaign organisers at Stonewall report,
“four out of 10 LGBTQ+ people don’t feel like sport is a welcoming place and the Rainbow Laces initiative aims to reverse that trend”.
Throughout last week, clubs in the football league have shown their support. Players have worn laces, headbands and sweatbands. Furthermore, Tottenham Hotspur stadium made a significant contribution towards the movement. They have done this by illuminating their stadium with the colours of the LGBTQ+ rainbow flag.
Despite the current Covid-19 pandemic, this year’s activities of the campaign consisted of sharing stories about how sport has helped many LGBTQ+ individuals find safe and supportive communities.
How can I join and get involved with the Rainbow Laces campaign?
If you want to get involved in the campaign it is as simple as wearing something which is rainbow coloured. Additionally, you can also donate to fundraising events if you are unable to wear clothing which is rainbow coloured. By wearing rainbow laces, you are visually displaying powerful support for a marginalised community. It can also help to encourage others to step up and fight discrimination. Additionally, it helps to foster an inclusive environment for everyone within the sport.
A reporter wrote for football website Squawka:
“The first step is to wear the Rainbow Lace.”
You don’t have to be LGBT+ to show that you support LGBTQ+ inclusion. Moreover, support was shown by Jehmiel Lemonius, Stonewall’s new sports campaign manager. Jehmiel stated “you don’t have to be a part of the LGBTQ+ community to show your support”.
Does the Rainbow Campaign work?
Despite years of efforts to shift the attitudes within professional football, Justin Fashanu remains the only individual to have openly come out as being gay.
Although Justin is currently the only person to come out as gay, attitudes are changing. A poll conducted by Stonewall last year discovered that the vast majority of British people (65%) think it is essential that anti-LGBTQ+ language and abuse is challenged in live sporting events. The response increased by 7% from the previous poll. Moreover, this indicates that the attitudes of the UK’s public are changing for the better.
This year, the premier league has also made commitments to the movement. They have agreed to a strategic partnership with Stonewall to promote equality and diversity. Likewise, an official of the premier league said:
“Football has the power to bring us together”.
Furthermore, the Premier League has ensured everyone within the organisation and the connected clubs, including fans, feel safe and welcome, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. Maria Munir, Stonewall’s Associate Director of Community Engagement, stated:
“the hard work being done by clubs, teams and managers across the country is making a real difference”.
Support is essential for change
The fight for equality and diversity inside and outside of sport continues. Your support will continue to make a difference. By stepping up and visually displaying the rainbow flag, you are keeping the movement alive. You are helping to foster the notion of an all-inclusive environment and fight against the issue of discrimination.
If you are part of the LGBTQ+ community and feel that you have been discriminated against or need advice on gender reassignment, harassment, positive discrimination, sexual orientation, or victimisation, we can help.