Rainbow Laces campaign set for unprecedented support later this month
Last Updated: 17/11/17 8:20pm
Sport will 'come out for LGBT equality' later this month in the biggest show of support the Rainbow Laces campaign has ever seen.
Running from November 24 to December 3, Stonewall's Rainbow Laces campaign is about welcoming and accepting LGBT people at all levels of sport.
Sports bodies including the Premier League, England Rugby, Premiership Rugby and the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) had already thrown their weight behind the week of action.
They have been joined in their support by the British Olympic Association (Team GB), British Cycling, England Hockey, Great Britain Wheelchair Rugby, the Rugby Football League, the Scottish PFA, UK Athletics, Welsh FA and Welsh Rugby.
Many of England Hockey's premier teams and the umpires will be lacing up and wearing the armbands over the opening weekend of the campaign. British Basketball are not only wearing laces, they'll also be training with rainbow balls.
Off the pitch, many of the sports organisations and bodies will change their social media profiles to reflect the Rainbow Laces campaign, as well as sending messages of support to their followers.
Every fixture for the English Football League, Premier League, Aviva Premiership Rugby and the Scottish Professional Football League over the November weekend will feature Rainbow Laces.
Ruth Hunt, chief executive of Stonewall, said: "Having so much support for our Rainbow Laces campaign is amazing to see. It shows that people understand that creating inclusive sporting environments is everyone's responsibility and that making sport everyone's game can't rest on the shoulders of LGBT people alone.
"We're also thrilled to see so many local clubs signing up to this year's campaign. We want anyone and everyone who wants to take part in sport - in whatever sport - to feel they can, whether that's at a professional level or at a local kickabout.
"We now want to see fans getting involved and coming out to proudly show their support. Putting on a pair of laces may seem like a small act, but for someone who is LGBT it is a powerful sign of acceptance."
Almost 200,000 pairs of rainbow laces have been sold ahead of this year's week of action. eBay are the latest company to join TeamPride - a coalition of global organisations including adidas, Manchester United, O2, Sky Sports and Visa - that are helping to deliver the campaign.
Hunt added: "We now want to see fans getting involved and coming out to proudly show their support. Putting on a pair of laces may seem like a small act, but for someone who is LGBT it is a powerful sign of acceptance."