Building on the success of last year’s inaugural campaign in which hundreds of pros laced up including Leighton Baines, Olivier Giroud and Joey Barton, alongside widespread support from Ed Miliband, the Department of Culture, Media & Sport, Stephen Fry and Gary Lineker, players and fans are being urged to again show their support over the weekend of September 13th and 14th.
Among the 5,000 professional footballers in the UK, not one of them is openly gay – a scenario with odds of over a quadragintillion to one. Stonewall’s own research shows that seven in ten football fans have heard or witnessed homophobia on the terraces and more than 40 per cent believe football to be an anti-gay sport.
According to Ruth Hunt, Chief Executive of Stonewall:
"We know that homophobia, biphobia and transphobia are still rife in football. That needs to change. Last year’s Rainbow Laces campaign was a great start but there’s still a long way to go both on and off the pitch. The clubs and players supporting the campaign and lacing up this weekend are taking a powerful stand against homophobia in our national game. Our work in sport will continue all year round, but for this week we need as many people as possible to show their support and get involved."Here's the shocking part, the part that is not ready to happen in here in the US. In addition to club, player and fan support, some of the UK’s best known brands are supporting Rainbow Laces. In an industry first, Metro have pledged their support by filling their entire Monday edition with advertising from brands who back the campaign. Premier Inn, a large hotel chain, are renaming as Premier Out in all their communications for the day, HTC/Carphone Warehouse, Playstation, Sega, Relish Broadband, KLM, Heineken, Pepsico, Lastminute.com, Dr Martens, BT Broadband / BT Sport, Starbucks, Fiat and Jersey Tourism are just some of the brands involved.
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