Football and rugby stars proudly wear rainbow laces against homophobia in sport

The rainbow laces campaign has returned and has been backed by football and rugby stars and clubs.

Players, managers, clubs and officials from football and rugby wore the rainbow laces on Saturday as well as flags being displayed on stadiums and at clubs to make a stand against homophobia in sport.

The campaign is created by Stonewall and was the biggest ever this year with participation from non-league through to the Premier League.

According to Stonewall, 72 percent of football fans have heard homophobic abuse.

Wembley Stadium was lit up with rainbow colours for the rainbow laces campaign.

The arch at the stadium was lit up after a 1-1 draw between Tottenham and West Brom.


A message projected onto the stadium reads: “Tottenham Hotspur proudly supporting Stonewall’s Rainbow Laces campaign.”

Norwich City also featured a profile of late gay footballer Justin Fashanu on its match programme cover for a game with Preston which drew 1-1.

At St James’ Park, Newcastle’s home ground, the fourth official displayed an LED board with rainbow colours during a match with Watford.

Manchester United right back Antonio Valencia wore his captain’s armband with rainbow colours.

England rugby union co-captain Chris Robshaw wore rainbow laces during a match against Samoa at Twickenham.

Other teams like Swansea, Bournemouth, Northampton, Bury, Fleetwood, Blackpool and Norwich also wore rainbow laces or displayed messages of support.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp also wore rainbow laces during a game against Chelsea at Anfield.


Police and linesmen also participated in several cities.

The Premier League has in recent years teamed up with Stonewall again for an even bigger ‘Rainbow Laces’ campaign.

Rainbow LAces

Gay footballers in the Premier League are held back by feeling unable to come out, top athletes told politicians earlier in November.