Rovers supporting Rainbow Laces campaign to counter homophobia
Doncaster Rovers have joined Stonewall’s Rainbow Laces campaign to show that lesbian, gay, bi and trans people are welcome at every level of sport and that homophobia is unacceptable.
Thousands of people across Britain, from fans to players, will lace up this weekend as part of a UK-wide campaign to make sport everyone’s game.
The Rainbow Laces weekend follows research by ICM that reveals homophobic language is still regularly heard at live sporting events. 72 per cent of football fans have heard anti-LGBT remarks at live games in the past five years.
Despite this, the majority of people support LGBT people in sport according to the research, with nearly two-thirds (59 per cent) saying more should be done to make LGBT people feel accepted.
This weekend Stonewall, the leading charity for lesbian, gay, bi and trans equality, is calling on fans, players and governing bodies to visibly show their support for LGBT people in sport.
Rovers are one of dozens of football clubs backing the campaign, which has been endorsed by Premiership Rugby, the Premier League, the English Football League and the Football Association.
Gavin Baldwin, Rovers’ chief executive, said: “We can’t let the minority of fans spoil the game. We’re supporting the campaign to show that at Rovers we do not accept anti-LGBT chants, language or behaviour.
“We want to make sport everyone’s game and show that football welcomes players and fans, no matter who they are or who they love.”
Ruth Hunt, Stonewall’s chief executive, said: “Such high-profile support is crucial for lesbian, gay, bi and trans people who want to take part in sport, either as players or fans, but feel unsafe, unwelcome or unable to be themselves. We need fans, players, clubs and governing bodies to stand up as allies so that we can make sport everyone’s game.
“Homophobic abuse has absolutely no place in sport, either at grass roots or professional level, yet there is a persistent, and vocal, minority who believe anti-LGBT language is harmless.
“The majority of people believe homophobic chants and abuse are a problem, and this weekend is about encouraging that majority to step up and show they will not stand for this abuse.”