Clubs in England’s Premier League are once again showing their support for LGBTQ+ inclusion this year with the Rainbow Laces campaign, taking place at games between October 22 and 30.
Clubs are demonstrating their support in several different ways. The most prominent is the captain’s armband with a rainbow theme.
Players are also wearing rainbow-colored shoelaces over the two gameweeks. This is one of the original parts of the campaign, organized by Stonewall UK, from when it first started in 2013. Stonewall and the Premier League have officially been partners since 2017.
Other shows of support include pre-game flags and displays, corner flags, advertising on stadium screens and pitchside digital boards, and even rainbow trim on the fourth official’s display board for substitutes and stoppage time.
“The Premier League and our clubs work together to ensure inclusion is embedded across all areas of the game and are committed to fighting all forms of discrimination,” said Premier League chief executive Richard Masters. “While progress has been made, we know more can be done and we will continue to prioritise this vital area of work.
“We have an important role to play in using the power and reach of football to encourage fans to show support for LGBTQ+ people. The Rainbow Laces campaign provides an opportunity to highlight the work that is carried out throughout the year to ensure every aspect of football is inclusive and welcoming to all.”
The Premier League is also spreading Rainbow Laces’ message of inclusion by launching new educational initiatives in its Primary Stars program, which provides schools across England and Wales with free teaching materials and lesson plans. Through its Premier League Inspires and Kicks programs, they’re giving young people tools to build stronger communities free of homophobic, transphobic and biphobic language.
The Premier League Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Standard helps all clubs enact meaningful policies and practices to build cultures where LGBTQ+ feel they belong. And the League works with clubs to promote mechanisms available to report incidents of discrimination in stadiums, online and across workforces.