In a League first, EFL Clubs across the country have united in their support of LGBT+ inclusivity by turning their corner flags rainbow coloured to raise awareness of Stonewall’s Rainbow Laces campaign. Crewe Alexandra Football Club were delighted to use a rainbow corner flag for the visit of Luton Town on Saturday. Captain Chris Dagnall also wore his rainbow captain’s armband.
The bespoke rainbow coloured corner flags sit at the heart of a wide range of activities that the EFL and its Clubs will be undertaking as part of the Rainbow Laces campaign between 25 November and 3 December 2017.
In a show of solidarity to support lesbian, gay, bi and trans-gender fans, players and staff across the game the EFL will change its logo to a bespoke rainbow coloured version whilst Clubs have also been provided with rainbow laces, captain’s armbands and programme adverts. PGMOL officials have also been provided with rainbow coloured laces for EFL matches.
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.
The EFL’s support for Rainbow Laces forms part of its wider LGBT+ work delivered in conjunction with Clubs through its Equality Code Of Practice. This includes delivering activities, setting policies, and advising on recruitment and education at Clubs.
Shaun Harvey, EFL Chief Executive said: “We are proud to support Stonewall’s Rainbow Laces campaign again for this season. Ensuring a safe and welcoming environment for supporters attending EFL matches remains a key priority but the EFL and our Clubs are committed to providing a positive experience for all that stretches well beyond the 90 minutes of play.
“Our specific Rainbow Laces initiatives this year will see all EFL Clubs come together to raise awareness of this important issue delivered through a range of activities which this season include converting all corner flags at EFL grounds up and down the country into rainbow colours. This follows the introduction of the bespoke EFL rainbow logo which celebrated the League’s burgeoning relationship with Stonewall earlier this year.
“The campaign very much complements the ongoing work our Clubs are undertaking as part of the EFL Equality Code of Practice. Whilst acknowledging there has been progress made in this area, there is still work to be done. We can never be complacent and that is why the EFL remains committed to supporting campaigns such as this as we continue to promote diversity and inclusivity across all areas of the game.”
Stonewall Chief Executive Ruth Hunt said: “We’re delighted that the EFL has again joined our Rainbow Laces campaign. We believe in making sport everyone’s game and to do that we need allies to step up and show their support. By making such a visible show of Rainbow Laces - with armbands and corner flags, as well as of course rainbow laces - the EFL is raising awareness on and off the pitch.
“We know we can’t solve this by ourselves and that’s why allies are so important. We need to create a culture where everyone can be themselves. From fans, to teams, and employees at all levels, when leadership organisations step up and commit to creating a welcoming and inclusive culture in football, everyone wins.”