TODAY’S Sky Bet League Two fixture against Bradford City represents our annual ‘Rainbow Laces’ game.
The aim of the campaign is to promote inclusion and to specifically include those within the LGBT Community. It is also to encourage sports fans and participants with positive stories from other members of the community who are involved in sport to try to make sport inclusive and accessible to everyone.
The other purpose is to try to educate others on the LGBT community about what it is like for someone to be involved in sport and what challenges people may face. People are being encouraged to sport rainbow laces, and getting their friends, families or work teams to ‘Come Out Active.’
People are also being encouraged to help raise funds to help reach LGBT equality quicker, or better yet, help to eliminate all forms of LGBT-related discrimination once and for all.
Certain items on match-day will look slightly different around Home Park. The corner flags will feature rainbow patterns, as will the fourth officials electronic board, the captain’s armband will be multi-coloured and, of course, the players will also be furnished with rainbow laces for their boots. Also being introduced by the EFL this year is a rainbow pennant.
LGBT group ‘Stonewall’ have provided some statistics ahead of today’s fixture, which follows on from a successful rainbow laces campaign last year.
They said: “After seeing the Rainbow Laces campaign, 41% of sports fans believe they would be more likely to challenge anti-LGBT language at live sport fixtures, and 42% would be more likely to challenge it on social media.
“59% of fans who saw the campaign feel they have a responsibility to stick up for LGBT fans of the teams and sports they follow, compared to 44% who didn’t see the campaign. 56% of fans who saw the campaign feel more confident that reports of anti-LGBT language will be taken seriously.”