Gay rights charity Stonewall has dismissed criticism regarding its campaign against homophobia in football after several Premier League clubs said they wouldn’t be able to support it because of the involvement of Paddy Power.
Stonewall Media Manager Richard Lane said to PinkNews.co.uk: “We’ve been overwhelmed by the support for the rainbow laces campaign. We’ve seen numerous players and clubs as well as the likes of Clarke Carlisle and Gary Lineker and tens of thousands of fans get behind the campaign. The Scottish Parliament, the Department for Culture Media and Sport and Ed Miliband have also shown that this is a priority for government and politicians too. We hope as many players as possible will show their support this weekend and get #RBGF.”
He added: “Stonewall hasn’t received a penny from Paddy Power for this campaign. They have, however, recently become members of our Workplace Diversity Champions programme, the largest programme of its kind in the world, and pay the standard membership rate of £2,500 per annum. This reflects their commitment to not only tackling homophobia in football but also making their workplace gay-friendly too.”
“Our discomfort is with the reliance on sexualised innuendo and stereotypes about gay men and anal sex, as exemplified by the tag line ‘Right Behind Gay Players,” FvH said on Thursday.
He intends to wear them on Match of the Day this Saturday.
Meanwhile Manager Arsene Wenger will allow Arsenal players to wear the rainbow laces in this weekend’s game against Stoke.