Southampton Football Club is once again proud to be backing Stonewall’s Rainbow Laces campaign this year, in support of the LGBT+ community.
Saints will be joining forces with all Premier League clubs across the next two rounds of matchdays in raising awareness of the initiative, beginning with Monday night’s trip to Brighton & Hove Albion, before Sheffield United’s visit to St Mary’s on Sunday 13th December.
Games will see captains wear rainbow-coloured armbands, while substitute boards, handshake boards and ball plinths will be rebranded for the occasion. The campaign will be further highlighted via pitchside LED boards, as well as via our social media channels.
It follows the Premier League as a whole strengthening its commitment to LGBT+ inclusion through a new, two-year strategic partnership with Stonewall, which was announced this week.
A key focus of this will be education, encouraging LGBT+ acceptance in children and young people involved in programmes such as Premier League Primary Stars and Premier League Kicks, and within Academies. The Premier League and Stonewall will develop new resources and programmes for coaches, teachers and leaders in schools and communities to help promote positive attitudes towards the LGBT+ community.
LGBT+ inclusion will also be a key element of player care and support programmes, which will be made available at all team age groups across Premier League clubs.
Premier League Chief Executive Richard Masters said: “The Premier League is committed to promoting equality in all we do and we are pleased to extend our relationship with Stonewall through this new strategic partnership.
“There is no place for discrimination of any kind in football or wider society. Our new partnership focuses on developing the positive LGBT+ inclusion projects we have carried out with Stonewall in recent years.
“A great deal of work has taken place to make football as welcoming as possible, promoting diversity on and off the pitch, and within our clubs’ communities. However, we know there is more to do and we look forward to making further progress.
“Fans will be able to see our support for the Rainbow Laces campaign over match rounds 11 and 12, which clearly demonstrates the ongoing commitment of the League and our clubs to LGBT+ inclusion in football.”
nancy kelleywe look forward to continuing to build on our partnership and working ever more closely with the premier league.
stonewall chief executive
Nancy Kelley, Chief Executive, Stonewall said: “We’re immensely proud to announce the next phase of our strategic partnership with the Premier League during this year’s Rainbow Laces campaign. When we re-launched this campaign four years ago we knew we needed allies to raise awareness of the challenges facing LGBT+ people in sport. The Premier League’s early support for the campaign, and joining TeamPride, was a huge catalyst for driving change across football and sport more widely.
“Three years ago, the Premier League stepped up and demonstrated they were willing to go further by committing to a partnership with us to support their clubs and communities to better include LGBT+ people. While we’ve made great progress since then, and seen phenomenal enthusiasm from the Premier League, we both know more needs to be done to ensure no-one is left behind.
“We look forward to continue building on our partnership and working ever more closely with the Premier League to create a game where all LGBT+ people are welcome and able to fulfil their potential in football.”