Soccer Football is easily the most watched sport around the world. The comradery shared, between fans and their teams, is unmatched. It’s played in countries that run the gamut from incredibly progressive to incredibly anti-LGBT. But even in the more liberal areas, homophobic comments are prevalent.
Stonewall UK is ready to combat the homophobic attitudes in football with their #RainbowLaces campaign. From November 24th to December 3rd, players, coaches, managers, and fans have been asked to wear rainbow shoelaces in support of the cause.
The #Rainbowlaces campaign has also allowed fans and athletes alike to speak out on social media in support of the LGBT community.
Danish footballer and Huddersfield Town center back Mathias Jørgensen posted a brief interview on Twitter in support keeping football inclusive.
— Mathias Zanka (@mzanka) November 25, 2017
Liverpool fan and Kop Outs founder Paul Amann also posted a video interview on Twitter discussing how much things have changed in the league since he started following football in the 1970s and early 80’s. Amann talks about his experience being mixed-race with the heavy racist undertones in the league, and how coming out made it even more difficult to feel ‘at-home’ during games.
— Premier League (@premierleague) November 25, 2017
Ryan Atkin, the first openly out referee in the Premier League shared how happy he is to finally be his true self on the pitch.
I truly believe that education is the catalyst – when you change your mind, you will change the game.
I can now be me, within the beautiful game. Will you help others be themselves too? #RainbowLaces @stonewalluk @SkySportsNews @EFL @premierleague pic.twitter.com/BGZsS3rNMU
— Ryan Atkin (@ryantatkin) November 23, 2017
Many of the players have already started showing off their #RainbowLaces this weekend. The Premier League teams have also created Pride logos that now adorn all of their social media pages.
Check out some of the athletes rocking #RainbowLaces and rainbow armbands.
— Jenna Schillaci (@JennaSchillaci) November 24, 2017
Tottenham Hotspurs captain Hugo Lloris and Spurs Ladies captain Jenna Schillaci
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) November 25, 2017
Chelsea captain John Terry and Chelsea Ladies captain Katie Chapman
55: Henderson tries his luck from distance but his effort fizzes straight at Courtois.
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) November 25, 2017
Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson
📸Antonio Valencia keeps tabs on Solly March.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) November 25, 2017
Manchester United right winger Antonio Valencia
— Crystal Palace F.C. (@CPFC) November 25, 2017
Crystal Palaces captain Mamadou Sakho
A gutsy performance from the lads today!
— Swansea City AFC (@SwansOfficial) November 25, 2017
Swansea City striker Wilfried Bony
— Premiership Rugby (@premrugby) November 20, 2017
Rugby player James Haskell
— Chris Robshaw (@ChrisRobshaw) November 21, 2017
Rugby player Chris Robshaw
Feature Image via Twitter, @liverpoolfc