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English Premier League among sports supporting Rainbow Laces campaign

Soccer, rugby, cricket join others in supporting LGBT inclusion,

Watford v Stoke City - Premier League
Rainbow Laces
Photo by Jordan Mansfield/Getty Images

The Rainbow Laces campaign, which promotes LGBT inclusion and combats homophobia in sports, will have its biggest effort yet when numerous leagues in Britain display rainbow-colored paraphernalia from Nov. 24 to Dec. 3.

Sports bodies including the Premier League, England Rugby, Premiership Rugby and the England and Wales Cricket Board had already thrown their weight behind the week of action.

They have been joined in their support by the British Olympic Association (Team GB), British Cycling, England Hockey, Great Britain Wheelchair Rugby, the Rugby Football League, the Scottish PFA, UK Athletics, Welsh FA and Welsh Rugby.

Many of England Hockey's premier teams and the umpires will be lacing up and wearing the armbands over the opening weekend of the campaign. British Basketball are not only wearing laces, they'll also be training with rainbow balls.

Players, coaches and officials at the various sporting events will wear rainbow laces and armbands, in addition to rainbow ball stands, scoreboards and flags. There will also be articles in game programs and public awareness events.

“We are proud to be supporting the Rainbow Laces campaign again this year, helping to promote inclusion, equality and diversity in sport," Simon Thornton, Liverpool's Equality & Diversity Officer, said. Liverpool play Chelsea in a match that can be seen on the NBC Sports channel Saturday at 12:30 p.m. EST.

The #rainbow laces hashtag on Twitter is awash with messages of support from British sports, athletes and fans.

This one is from openly gay soccer referee Ryan Atkin:

From Jon Holmes of SkySports, who was on an Outsports podcast this year: