The Premier League has pledged to do more to promote LGBT acceptance, including a visible show of support for Stonewall’s Rainbow Laces campaign this weekend, The Guardian reports.
All 10 Premier League fixtures this Saturday and Sunday will include Rainbow Laces perimeter board advertising, as well as pre-match Rainbow Laces flags and a host of other activities to highlight the work being undertaken to make fans of all races, genders and sexual orientations feel welcome.
Premier League executive chairman Richard Scudamore admitted that there was more the organisation could do “to use the spirit and energy of the football on the pitch as a force for good off it,” and promised to “include a host of Rainbow Laces activities across all matches” as well as across digital and social media channels.
Today, the Premier League changed their official social media branding to include a Pride flag in a show of solidarity.
— Premier League (@premierleague) November 24, 2016
Scudmore added that the Premier League would join Stonewall’s Team Pride initiative, saying, “Our support for the campaign, and the decision to become members of Team Pride, is further recognition that the LGBT community is a vital and integral part of our community.”
English football has been under increasing pressure to attack the culture of homophobia within the game after a recent study found that 72% of football fans had heard anti-LGBT abuse at a game, and one in five young fans would be embarrassed if their favourite footballer came out.
The Rainbow Laces campaign allows footballers and other sportspeople to show their support for LGBT fans and teammates by wearing shoelaces designed in the colours of the Pride flag.