Premier League and Clubs Mark 10th Anniversary of Rainbow Laces Campaign

Between 2 and 7 December, the Premier League and its clubs will be demonstrating their support for LGBTQ+ inclusion by participating in Stonewall’s Rainbow Laces campaign. This initiative serves as a means to highlight the ongoing efforts towards achieving equality and embracing diversity. The League and its clubs will utilize their platforms to foster conversations and exhibit solidarity. Throughout this designated period, a variety of content will be released, featuring male and female players, LGBTQ+ supporters’ groups, and community projects that promote inclusivity. This year holds particular significance as it commemorates the 10th anniversary of Rainbow Laces, with the theme of ‘Let’s Lace Up to Keep It Up’. The campaign highlights the advancements achieved in promoting inclusivity in sports in the past decade, while underscoring the ongoing need to ensure a safe and welcoming environment for LGBTQ+ individuals. Throughout the campaign, the captains of all 20 teams will wear rainbow armbands, and stadiums will prominently display the Rainbow Laces branding. Richard Masters, the Premier League Chief Executive, affirmed the league’s dedication to fostering equality, diversity, and inclusion across all aspects of football. He emphasized the significant strides made in establishing a more inclusive atmosphere for the LGBTQ+ community since the initiation of the Rainbow Laces campaign. Furthermore, he expressed a firm determination to maintain this progress and convey a resolute message that any form of discrimination will not be tolerated. The Premier League continues to prioritize education by teaming up with clubs to provide educational sessions on anti-discrimination in schools and communities, targeting young individuals and fans. In celebration of the 10-year milestone of Rainbow Laces, the League has launched a new educational tool called ‘Rainbow Laces – Stand in someone else’s shoes’. This resource will be accessible to more than 18,900 schools as part of the Premier League Primary Stars initiative. Its purpose is to encourage conversations about the significance of LGBTQ+ inclusion in sports and other areas, educating students about the campaign and how to support it. The Premier League takes steps to involve young individuals in discussions about creating more inclusive communities by addressing and discouraging language that is homophobic, transphobic, or biphobic. These discussions are carried out by clubs within their communities as part of the Premier League Kicks and Inspires programs.

Moreover, the Premier League Fans Fund provides financial support to clubs in different leagues for projects that prioritize fans, including those that focus on diverse communities like the LGBTQ+ community.

Premier League clubs actively participate in various projects and initiatives to prioritize equality and inclusion in all aspects of their operations. The Premier League Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion Standard (PLEDIS) is a program that the League has established to assist all 20 Premier League clubs and several EFL clubs in creating an inclusive environment where LGBTQ+ individuals feel accepted. This involves providing training for staff members and encouraging clubs to display strong leadership in LGBTQ+ matters.

Additionally, the League works together with clubs to raise awareness about reporting systems for instances of discrimination, whether they occur in stadiums or online. Fans who encounter or witness discrimination during a Premier League match are urged to reach out to the nearest steward or police officer, or utilize the clubs’ confidential text services to report it. In general, the Premier League and its teams are committed to fostering LGBTQ+ acceptance and guaranteeing that soccer remains an inclusive and hospitable setting for all individuals. The Rainbow Laces initiative serves as a symbol of the advancements achieved and the continuous efforts needed to establish a secure and embracing atmosphere for the LGBTQ+ community in the game.

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