The Rainbow Laces campaign is set to hit English soccer later this week as the Football Association strengthens its relationship with the LGBTQ-rights organization Stonewall. As part of that commitment, Stonewall FC, an LGBTQ soccer team, will play a regular-season match in Wembley Stadium on Nov. 30.
“To have Stonewall FC invited to play at Wembley is a symbolic demonstration by The FA and it sends a powerful message that LGBT people are a welcome part of the football family,” Stonewall’s Kirsty Clarke told Sky Sports.
According to The Mirror, “It will be the first time a regular season non-League match has been played at the national stadium.”
The match is just one element of the demonstration of support the Football Association and other sports leagues and teams will put on display in the next month.
The Rainbow Laces campaign uses various visibility concepts to build and bring about awareness of LGBTQ acceptance in sports, particularly soccer.
Rainbow Laces started a few years ago when advocates were looking for a way to have athletes in English soccer show support for the LGBTQ community during matches. Because just about every part of the uniform is governed by certain restrictions, they had to get creative and realized the color of laces on the players’ shoes were open to interpretation. Rainbow Laces were born.
According to Stonewall, the non-profit organization that organizes the campaign, last year saw an 8% reduction in the number of 18-34-year-old sports fans who think homophobic language is acceptable. Stonewall and Stonewall FC are two different entities.
Of course that’s not simply because of Rainbow Laces, but it sure doesn’t hurt that about 12 million people in Britain reportedly saw the campaign last year alone.
You can order your pair of Rainbow Laces from Stonewall.