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Rainbow Laces is back! Last year players from 52 clubs laced up to show their support for gay players and thousands of you got involved with over 320 million Twitter impressions it was one of the most successful Twitter UK campaigns to date.

But despite raising awareness of the issue, there are still no openly gay or bi professional players and homophobia on the terraces is still rife. We need to change the game.

This year Rainbow Laces will be bigger than ever, with even more players and even more clubs. We've teamed up with Paddy Power, Metro and the Premier League to show that the UK supports lesbian, gay and bisexual players and fans. Working with these organisations means we can reach way more people than we ever could alone. We're also thrilled to be working with Arsenal - fifth biggest football club in the world!

Click here to take a look at the FA's statement of support.

Last year, 25% of the UK population saw the campaign. We want to do this again. Please help by asking your club to support #RainbowLaces this weekend.   



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What You Can Do

Take a look at the ways you can support tackling homophobia in football

    Our Work  

Our Work in Football

Find out more about our work in football and sport

 

 

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The Clubs' Perspective

Learn about what one club is doing to change the game.

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The Fans' Perspective

Hear about fans' experiences of homophobia in football.


 

What You Can Do

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Sadly, seven in ten fans have witnessed homophobia on the terraces and 43% believe football is an anti-gay sport. We love football, but we need your help to change the game. Let's take a stand and show players and fans it doesn't matter what team they play for.

You can help us and the game:

 

Our Work in Football

Our Work

 

 



Our work in football began in 2009 with ground-breaking YouGov polling. Seven in ten football fans who'd attended a match have heard or witnessed homophobia on the terraces and over half of fans thought the Football Association, The Premier League and Football League weren't doing enough to tackle anti-gay abuse.  

In 2014 we teamed up with Football Addicts to survey 30,000 football fans on their attitudes towards gay players. Have a look at the full results here.

This year we will be:

  • Using our proven expertise of working with employers to provide advice and support to individual clubs who are willing to tackle homophobia in football.

  • Continuing to work with the FA, Premier League and others to tackle homophobia on and off the pitch

  • Supporting all levels of the game from grassroots up to the professional leagues to make sure lesbian, gay and bisexual people can take part free from discrimination

 

The Clubs' Perspective

Arsenal - Gay Gooners

 

 

Arsenal has been championing diversity since the Club launched its "Arsenal for Everyone" campaign in 2008 to celebrate diversity within the Club and the wider Arsenal family. Gay Gooners, the Club's group for its LGBT supporters, was launched in 2013 and became the first club to be represented at London Pride. Arsenal believes in the unity and pride that football can create by cutting across social divides and contributing to local communities.

Through partnerships with other groups, Arsenal runs inclusive football sessions for adults with learning disabilities and mental health problems, young disabled players and survivors of torture, as well as anti-bullying workshops that cover homophobia. The Emirates Stadium has also hosted religious exchange projects for primary schools, as well as the first "Arsenal for Everyone" tournament in May 2014, which saw London's openly gay football team, Stonewall FC, playing Arsenal staff.

Working with the Gay Gooners and other organisations like Stonewall has helped to shape the work that Arsenal does. Collaboration and dialogue have been vital to the success of Arsenal's work, which continues through more than 5,000 individuals that are engaged in over 40 projects each week across 55 venues.

 

The Fans' Perspective

One is Gay

 

Our research has found seven in ten fans have witnessed homophobia on the football terraces, and three in five believe this dissuades gay players from coming out. Abuse on the terraces can range from homophobic chants directed towards players and other fans;

"Anti-gay abuse is heard at most matches. If for example a player looks or acts a little effeminate he will get called a "poof" or "rent boy"."(Gary, English Supporter, 40)

"I've been a local football referee for about 35 years and the attitude of the players and spectators towards gays is terrible with comments on and off the pitch. I have had to speak to spectators and players. I have to remind players that their comments could be classed as abuse." (Derek, Villa Supporter,53)

"I think that calling people names like "queer" or "poof" are not seen as abuse. People are so used to shouting these words they don't think of their meaning. Lots of people see it as harmless as shouting "useless" at a player."(Partirck, Newcastle United Supporter, 35)


 

Some other resources you might find useful

 


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