Bristol City Football Club and Premiership Rugby have recently shown their support for the Rainbow Laces Campaign.
Bristol City supported the campaign for the televised Sky Bet Championship encounter with Middlesbrough on Saturday 30th November. It formed part of a week-long campaign involving the English Football League, Premier League, PGMOL, and The FA.
Earlier this month the four entities joined forces to produce a unique rainbow photograph, showing football standing together in support of LGBT inclusivity. Gary O’Neil – who played for Bristol City until 2018, was featured in the image, alongside players from Charlton Athletic, Luton Town, Oxford United, Brentford, Colchester United, Portsmouth and West Ham United.
Referee Kevin Friend and Fara Williams, for England and Reading Ladies, also featured.
All 92 EFL clubs have supported Stonewall’s initiative; with Ashton Gate also featuring rainbow corner flags and Bailey Wright sporting a rainbow captain’s armband. In addition, players all wore the Rainbow Laces and the stadium’s external lighting was lit in rainbow colours, rather than red.
City Women will also be supported the campaign on the same day, as they host Brighton & Hove Albion at Stoke Gifford Stadium.
Bristol City Women general manager Kathryn Pacey said: “Bristol City Women is fully committed to the principles of equality and strives to ensure everyone involved and associated with the club is treated fairly and with respect and as such we are delighted to be a part of the Stonewall Rainbow laces campaign.”
Bristol Bears Rugby Club and Premiership Rugby also got involved in the event, A special “rainbow” Gallagher Premiership Rugby logo was once again be used extensively through the six matches in Round 5 of the competition on the weekend of November 30th – December 1st, when the matches between Bath and Saracens, Northampton Saints and Leicester Tigers and Harlequins v Gloucester Rugby were shown live on BT Sport.
Gallagher & Premiership Rugby volunteers also handed out 4,500 pairs of Rainbow Laces at the weekend matches taking place at Bath Rugby, Northampton Saints, Harlequins and Exeter Chiefs
Wayne Morris the Community and CSR Director at Premiership Rugby, said: “We have been a long-term supporter of the Rainbow Laces campaign – since 2014 – and are delighted to join again with Gallagher and BT Sport as part of our inclusion work.
“Our aim is to be the most welcoming league in the world to fans of all ages, backgrounds, abilities and circumstances and we are committed to ensuring that rugby continues to be everyone’s game. We welcome and celebrate diversity, and we strive to make our competitions and activities available and enjoyable to as many people as possible in whatever capacity they wish.”
Stonewall is the UK’s leading charity for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) equality both in England and overseas, using its work within football to promote the acceptance of the LGBT community.
Stonewall’s Rainbow Laces campaign aims to make sport everyone’s game with national teams, leading clubs, professional players, fans and grassroots players from across football showing their support for LGBT people in sport.