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Rainbow Laces

Premier League passion in the US: Jaison's story

26 Nov 2021
PLinUSA Jaison 1

Leicester fan from Atlanta whose love of thrifted clothes saw soccer weave its way into his life

The Premier League's US Instagram account, @PLinUSA, is highlighting the passionate, diverse PL fandom from coast to coast in the US, in the series Premier League passion in the US: Fans' stories.

Ahead of the Premier League and its 20 clubs celebrating Rainbow Laces over the next two gameweeks, meet Jaison from Atlanta, whose love for Leicester City came from threads around his neck to be part of the fabric of who he is.

Jaison

"It all started at a thrift store. About 70 per cent of my clothes are thrifted and I was looking for something to keep me warm.

"I see this strange scarf, it kind of pokes at me and I think, 'This could be fashionable.'

"It has the Leicester City logos on the ends, the 'Foxes Never Quit' motto along the bottom. This was when Martin O’Neill was manager so it also has embroidered 'Martin O’Neill’s Blue Army.'

PLinUSA Jaison 2

"I bought it, took it home, learned more about the club and they instantly became my team. You could say it was love at first sight.

"I’m a Philadelphia Eagles fan so I’m used to torture. I see this club in a small city in the Midlands and think that they’re kind of like my Eagles. You learn to love them, then hate them, but they’re always there for you. From the really, really low times to the high times, and trust me the highs have been good these past few years.

"When we won the league... God, I jumped and I cried. Looking back I still can’t believe it!

"In that 2015/16 season, I wasn’t living with my husband at the time. When he was over, he hated when I’d wake up for the early games. He prayed the games would be at least after 11:00am or noon, but I’d wake up whenever. I was obsessed. I still haven’t been able to make him a fan yet.

"It brings me a lot of pride as a Premier League fan to know that the league and teams are talking about issues important to me."

Jaison, Leicester City fan

"As a gay man, when it comes to improving things in our community, a lot of it comes down to continuing to have conversations and embrace learning. That’s why it brings me a lot of pride as a Premier League fan to know that the league and teams are talking about issues important to me, through Rainbow Laces and the No Room For Racism campaign.

"The Foxes Pride fan group actually participated in Leicester Pride so there’ve been conversations between the club and the gay community in Leicester. I’m really happy they’re creating dialogue.

"It’s incredible to me that I found this space of safety and acceptance all because of a scarf in a thrift store. Maybe one day I’ll see a Foxes hat in a department store, and then I’ll know we made it to the big time."

You can join in the conversation on social media using #PLFansOfAmerica and #RainbowLaces.

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