The Premier League and its clubs will celebrate Stonewall’s Rainbow Laces campaign at all fixtures between 2 and 7 December, demonstrating their ongoing support for LGBTQ+ inclusion.
This provides an opportunity to focus on the year-round equality and inclusion work that takes place, as the League and clubs use their platforms to encourage discussion and demonstrate allyship. A range of content will be published featuring men’s and women’s players and LGBTQ+ supporters’ groups, as well as showcasing community projects that promote diversity.
This year marks the 10th anniversary of Rainbow Laces, with the theme of "Let’s Lace Up to Keep It Up".
This looks at how sport has become more inclusive over the last decade, while also highlighting the need for ongoing work to ensure sport is a safe space for members of the LGBTQ+ community.
During the campaign window, rainbow armbands will be worn by captains across all 20 games, with Rainbow Laces branding also widely visible within stadiums throughout the period.
“The Premier League carries out a wide range of work with our clubs throughout the year to embed equality, diversity and inclusion across everything we do," Premier League Chief Executive Richard Masters said.
“There has been considerable progress to make football a more inclusive environment for the LGBTQ+ community since the Rainbow Laces campaign launched a decade ago.
"We are determined to maintain this momentum to make sure football is welcoming for everyone and send a clear message that discrimination of any kind will not be tolerated."
Free educational resource
Education continues to be an important area of focus as the League conducts year-round work with clubs to deliver anti-discrimination education sessions in schools and communities for young people and fans.
To support the 10-year anniversary of the Rainbow Laces campaign, the League has launched a new free educational resource, which is being made available to more than 18,900 schools through the Premier League Primary Stars programme. "Rainbow Laces – Stand in someone else’s shoes" gives students the opportunity to talk about the importance of LGBTQ+ inclusion in sport and beyond.
Pupils will learn about the Rainbow Laces campaign, how to be an ally, and then demonstrate active allyship to the LGBTQ+ community, as well as looking at the history of football’s involvement with Rainbow Laces.
The Premier League also provides resources to engage young people on topics such as building stronger communities free from homophobic, transphobic and biphobic language. These sessions are delivered by clubs in their communities through the Premier League Kicks and Inspires programmes.
The Premier League Fans Fund provides grants to clubs across the Premier League, EFL, National League, FA Women’s Super League and Women’s Championship to support a range of fan-focused projects. This is focused on schemes for diverse communities, including LGBTQ+ communities.
Clubs undertake a wide variety of projects and initiatives to ensure equality and inclusion are central to all areas of their operations. Through the Premier League Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Standard (PLEDIS), the League supports all 20 Premier League clubs, and a number of EFL clubs, to embed effective and meaningful policy and practices to build a culture in which LGBTQ+ people feel that they belong. This includes providing staff training and encouraging strong, visible leadership on LGBTQ+ themes.
The League continues to work with clubs to promote the reporting mechanisms that are in place for incidents of discrimination, within stadia and online. Fans who experience or witness discrimination while at a Premier League match should contact the nearest steward or police officer, or report it by using clubs’ confidential text services, which can be found here.
Fans can also report online discriminatory abuse they see targeted at Premier League players, managers, coaches, match officials and their families directly at premierleague.com/reportracism. Each incident will be investigated by the League’s dedicated reporting team.