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Manchester United host TeamPride Rainbow Laces Summit

  • Sports’ biggest names join Stonewall and TeamPride for summit on tackling LGBT abuse

  • Speakers include Premier League’s Bill Bush, Olympians Helen and Kate Richardson-Walsh and British racing driver Danny Watts

  • Manchester United play host to the summit at historic Old Trafford

Stonewall and TeamPride are bringing together some of sports’ biggest names for a summit on how to ensure sport is truly everyone’s game.

Stonewall’s research shows that more than half of all sports fans (51 per cent) have seen or heard offensive behaviour or language against LGBT people in a sports setting.

Attendees to the one-day event on 15 May include the Rugby Football Union, the Premier League, the England and Wales Cricket Board, England Hockey, the Rugby Football League, the Rugby Players Association, the Youth Sports Trust, English Football Association along with many others.

Manchester United are hosting the event at Old Trafford, providing space for workshops where key decision-makers and influencers from across sport can share best-practice and gain practical skills on how to make progress on LGBT equality.

Manchester United Group Manager Director Richard Arnold and Aon’s Global Chief Marketing and Communications Officer Phil Clement are hosting a CEO lunch as part of the summit. Over lunch senior leaders will discuss measures their organisations can put in place to create environments where everyone feels welcome.

Olympic gold medal winner and international hockey professionals Kate and Helen Richardson-Walsh join professional British racing driver Danny Watts for a discussion on what true acceptance looks like and why it’s important for teammates to show their support.

Karin Cook, Group Director of Operations at Lloyds Banking Group, which came top in Stonewall’s Workplace Equality Index Top 100, joins Greg Clarke from the Football Association to discuss how to create an LGBT inclusive culture.

Executive Director of the Premier League Bill Bush, rugby player Keegan Hirst and Bournemouth photographer Sophie Cook are hosting the closing panel to discuss why everyone needs to be involved in changing sport.

Staff from Sky Sports, Aviva and adidas are also attending the summit’s best-practice panels to provide insight on how and why they stepped up to support LGBT inclusion. 

Richard Arnold, Group Managing Director, Manchester United, said: ‘We want this event to be an opportunity for senior leaders in sport to share best practice on how we can all work together to eradicate discrimination from sport and society. Manchester United is fully committed to equality across the Club and is proud to be part of TeamPride to support Rainbow Laces.’

Ruth Hunt, Stonewall’s Chief Executive, said: ‘This campaign is about encouraging people to step up to say they won’t stand for abuse. People want to do that but they need the confidence. The more senior leaders we have in sport clearly stating that LGBT people are valued and equal, the more confident people will feel to do the same.’

As well as signing up to Rainbow Laces, the Premier League has become a member of TeamPride, a coalition of organisations committed to making sport everyone’s game by encouraging fans, players, sports clubs and organisations to show their support of lesbian, gay, bi and trans people.  The full list of members includes adidas, Aon, Aviva, Manchester United, O2, Pitch Marketing Group, the Premier League, Sky Sports and Visa.

The summit is part of Stonewall’s ongoing campaign to make sport everyone’s game.