Manchester United will host the Rainbow Laces Summit on Monday, May 15. The summit is organized by Stonewall UK and supported by their TeamPride.
The event is designed to inform sports leaders on how to make their sports environments more inclusive for LGBT fans, athletes and more.
“Gain insight into sports fans' attitudes and experiences of anti-LGBT abuse and discover practical ideas to make your sporting environment inclusive for all LGBT people,” the event’s Web site promises.
Attendees and speakers at the event include Premier League executive director William Bush, Football Association chairman Greg Clarke, and various out LGBT athletes including field hockey Olympic couple Helen and Kate Richardson-Walsh, rugger Keegan Hirst and auto racer Danny Watts. Outsports will be attending the summit as well.
Some may find it surprising that the United States’ sports community is years ahead of the United Kingdom and the rest of Europe in combatting homophobia in sports from fans, athletes and others. It will be interesting to see what messages Stonewall and others in the UK are using to combat anti-LGBT bias in sports.
In the United States it has been the faces and voices of out LGBT people that have led the fast charge toward inclusion. Curious to see if the folks here focus on LGBT people or the mercurial “straight ally.”