Preston North End is holding its annual Rainbow Laces matchday on Saturday as part the campaign led by LGBTQ+ charity Stonewall.
The Rainbow Laces campaign is running from Thursday 25th November until Sunday 12th December, with Rainbow Laces Day falling on Wednesday 8th December, and is being supported by clubs from across the professional pyramid in the United Kingdom.
Celebrating LGBTQ+ inclusion within the EFL, Stonewall’s campaign focus this year is ‘Lace Up and Speak Up’.
Over a million of us have laced up with Rainbow Laces in support of LGBTQ+ equality in sport. But many in this community still feel unwelcome in sport and fitness settings, as people bully, belittle and exclude, making them feel out of place. Sport is for all, and everyone should be welcome.
Laces have brought the awareness. Now we all need to speak up with those around us. And make sure everyone feels empowered to support with pride.
The Rainbow Laces campaign aims to create a broader, louder and more impactful movement for the involvement of LGBTQ+ communities in sport, with the hope that every conversation will take them one step closer to achieving their ambition of making sport everyone’s game.
Fans can expect to see rainbow coloured corner flags, captain’s armbands and digital assets around the stadium in support of the campaign.
Chief Executive Officer of Preston North End Community and Education Trust, Tom Drake, said: “We’re pleased to be supporting Stonewall’s Rainbow Laces campaign once again this year to show unity with the LGBTQ+ community.
“Through our Rainbow Laces matchday, we hope to raise awareness of the issues that LGBTQ+ supporters can face from their involvement in football and sport as a whole, whether that’s as a supporter, player or in any other capacity.
“Homophobia and discrimination of any kind is not welcome at Deepdale, where we aim to provide a welcoming, friendly and inclusive atmosphere for all those in attendance watching Preston North End.
“Everyone at PNECET is committed to supporting those from the LGBTQ+ community in any way we can and helping people to feel comfortable in discovering their identity.”
The Rainbow Laces campaign is now in its sixth year, again with the support of Team Pride, and is continuing to drive positive change in the sporting world.
Rainbow Laces now also feature the progress Pride flag. This flag was designed to raise the visibility and mark the importance of trans and ethnically diverse LGBT people. It incorporates black and brown stripes, along with the colours from the trans flag.