Laces to be handed out on Club Canary coaches this SaturdayNORWICH City and main sponsor Aviva 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 on Saturday, November 26 and Sunday, November 27 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.
Norwich City 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.
The Canaries are teaming up with main sponsors Aviva, who are also part of Stonewall’s TeamPride coalition, ahead of City’s away match with Derby County – and with the help of City’s LGBT fan group Proud Canaries, will be handing out Rainbow Laces at Carrow Road on Saturday morning to those fans travelling on the Club Canary coaches.
Norwich City’s Head of Media, Joe Ferrari said: "Norwich City Football Club is committed to combatting all forms of discrimination, including homophobia. We passionately believe that football is a game for everybody and are pleased to support Stonewall’s Rainbow Laces initiative this weekend.”
Peter Markey, Brand & Marketing Communications Director at Aviva UK, said: "We are very pleased to be part of TeamPride, and look forward to supporting Stonewall’s Rainbow Laces campaign through our sponsorship of Aviva Premiership Rugby and Norwich City FC.
"This is an important opportunity to continue the great work Stonewall has done to ensure that sport is an arena that is inclusive for all. Working with other organisations, who share our commitment to this, is hugely exciting."
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.”
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