The New Saints, along with all other clubs in the JD Welsh Premier League, are once again lending their support to Stonewall Cymru’s campaign to tackle homophobia in sport.
Research suggests that the Rainbow Laces campaign has inspired around seven million people feel to more positive about LGBT inclusion in sport after seeing the campaign, with around 4.8 million people saying they would be more likely to challenge anti-LGBT language in sport. (ICM/Stonewall Research, 2017).
However, there is still more to do, as more than two in five LGBT people (43 per cent) think public sporting events aren’t a welcoming space for LGBT people (LGBT in Britain: Hate crime and discrimination, YouGov and Stonewall 2017).
This weekend, players will have the chance to switch their regular laces for rainbow alternatives. The armband worn by the captain will also display the rainbow colours.
Andrew White, Director of Stonewall Cymru, said:
“It’s brilliant to see the FAW supporting our Rainbow Laces campaign again this year; from the national teams to grassroots; hundreds of footballers will be lacing up in support of LGBT inclusion in sport. They’ll be joined by players and supporters from a range of other sports.
“We need every sports fan and organisation to stand up as an ally to LGBT people in their sport and beyond. So this year we are calling on everyone to be an active ally.
“It’s simply being a good teammate and taking responsibility for making LGBT people feel welcome. Not only can you show your support, you can challenge chants or insults about LGBT people, or report abuse, whether that’s online, watching live sport or taking part.
“Support has been so huge this year we have extended the campaign from one to three weeks. Whether you’re in to cricket, darts, rugby, football or athletics, your sport is taking part and lacing up.”