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When Chilwell and Maddison met Foxes Pride

8 Dec 2019

As part of their support for the Rainbow Laces campaign, Leicester City duo meet the club's LGBT supporters group

The Premier League is backing the Rainbow Laces campaign and our clubs work throughout the year to support the LGBT community. We looked at some of the work they do.

Leicester City

Foxes Pride was formed five years ago for LGBT supporters of Leicester City.

The fan group's chair Graeme Smith, co-chair Paul and a member Mish, went to King Power Stadium to share their experiences with first-team stars Ben Chilwell and James Maddison.

The pair heard about some of the issues that LGBT fans may face and how they, as players, have an important role as allies to the LGBT community.

Players can get abuse for acting as such allies but they are used to it, Chilwell says.

"You get that anyway. You could have the best game ever and score a hat-trick but you get negativity.

"If what we're doing is right, then it doesn't matter."

"That is the absolute key - helping people realise that you don't have to be gay to stand up for LGBT people"

Foxes Pride chair Graeme Smith

Maddison added that the Leicester dressing room is supportive of the Rainbow Laces campaign and would support any team-mate who came out as gay.

"We've got a very accepting changing room," he says. "And I think if a team-mate were to come out and say they were gay, then nothing changes.

"That's how it is with us. Hopefully, going forward, it can be the same for everyone."

The chat was a positive experience for the Foxes Pride members and confirmed how attitudes in football have changed on LGBT issues.

"I genuinely don't remember feeling like this would have happened, five years ago, 10 years ago, so it's fantastic," says Paul.

And Graeme adds: "What we're starting to see now - and Ben and James are examples of that - are players starting to get involved.

"That is the absolute key - helping people realise that you don't have to be gay to stand up for LGBT people."

Also in this series

Part 1: 'Rainbow Laces helps kids connect with the players'
Part 2: 'With Saints Foundation's support I feel like I fit in'
Part 3: Equality message shared by Villa's younger generation

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