Rainbow Laces campaign: How it’s changing sports like football

Tijen Butler November 26, 2018
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Rainbow Laces

Skeleton athlete Lizzy Yarnold of Great Britain ties a pair of rainbow shoelaces which signify support for LGBT rights on February 11, 2018 in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea (Photo by Ker Robertson/Getty Images)

Rainbow Laces is a campaign promoting LGBT+ equality within sports (like football and rugby) as homophobia, biphobia and transphobia remain an underlying issue.

All around the UK, people are wearing rainbow-coloured shoelaces to show their support for LGBT+ people in sports.

Dozens of football and rugby stars, such as players and managers, have taken part in the campaign to improve views on homosexuality by wearing the laces themselves.

It’s hoped that this will help gay players come out and feel comfortable in their skins.

Stonewall: Rainbow Laces

Stonewall is an organisation dedicated to supporting the LGBT+ community. Their mission is to “let all lesbian, gay, bi and trans people, here and abroad, know they’re not alone.”

Recognising the issues with LGBT+ representation in sports, Stonewall launched the Rainbow Laces campaign. “It’s down to all of us to be an active ally to lesbian, gay, bi and trans people in sport,” the organisation said.

Stonewall sells rainbow laces for £2.99 which people can wear to show their encouragement for the cause.

Other organisations and companies around the UK are supporting Stonewall’s Rainbow Laces campaign. They are doing this by selling the laces along with badges and spreading general awareness through adverts and online conversation.

Paddy Power’s Rainbow Laces campaign

Paddy Power joined in on the campaign by getting football fans involved to change the stigma surrounding homosexuality in the sport.

In 2013, Paddy Power distributed the rainbow-coloured football laces to every professional football player in the UK.

Premier League: Homosexuality in football

With over 5,000 football players in 2018, professionals still aren’t confident to openly come out as gay. Statistics also show that seven out of 10 fans have heard homophobic abuse at football matches.

Not only that, the clear discrimination causes many LGBT+ people to be hesitant to join in on sports games. 60 percent of gay and bisexual men and 40 percent of lesbian and bisexual women expect to be bullied if they take part in sports.

Premier League football clubs, therefore, proudly take part in Stonewall’s Rainbow Laces campaign to show its support of the LGBT+ community.

Football matches have been advertising the campaign on board and flags. The Premier League wants to welcome all fans to the games irrespective of their sexuality orientation.

Rainbow Laces on Twitter

USARugby Tweet about Gareth Thomas and Rainbow Laces campaign.
One of many tweets showing support for Gareth Thomas and the Rainbow Laces campaign (Twitter/USARugby).

The hashtag #RainbowLaces is trending on Twitter with thousands of users taking part in the conversation.

Most recently, users and organisations around the world have been discussing the news regarding rugby player Gareth Thomas, as he was a victim of hate crime and rugby players have since taken part of the Rainbow Laces campaign.

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