Why are sports clubs displaying rainbows this weekend?
You may have seen a fair few rainbows on your television this weekend, so what’s it all about?
Stadiums across the UK are filling with rainbows this weekend to support LGBT people in sport.
The #RainbowLaces campaign launched by charity Stonewall aims to counteract homophobia, biphobia and transphobia in sport by raising awareness and encouraging sportspeople and fans to support the LGBT community.
The campaign reached the echelons of a range of sports this weekend, appearing from Wembley to Twickenham.
West Ham football club was just one of many clubs to show their support for the campaign. They lit up the former Olympic stadium in a bright rainbow before their game against Leicester City on Friday night.
Players and mascots got involved in the fun too, posing with the rainbow flag or wearing the laces themselves.
According to Stonewall, seven in every ten fans have heard homophobic abuse in football crowds, a figure it hopes will be lowered through awareness campaigns like #RainbowLaces.
The charity has also designed a sports toolkit for clubs and schools to use to help them before more actively inclusive.
The home of some of football’s biggest match-ups also played its part.
Rugby wasn’t to be left behind, though.
Starting a week of support for LGBT people in sport, Wasps forward James Haskell featured in a film to talk about what the campaign means to him.
Referee Nigel Owens showed off his spectacular laces before the England vs Samoa rugby test on Saturday afternoon, and a number of players taking part in the Autumn Internationals also sported the rainbow flag.
Got my rainbow laces ready to run touch for #EngvSam. All one should expect is to be treated the same. No better no worse, just the same no matter who you are. Inclusivity in rugby. @stonewalluk’s #RainbowLaces campaign! @UnderArmourUK pic.twitter.com/f3YkCrlHcq— Nigel Owens MBE (@Nigelrefowens) November 25, 2017
A range of other sports also joined in, including Hockey.
This weekend we will see over half of the National Prem teams wear #RainbowLaces & armband showing their support for LGBT equality with @stonewalluk 🌈🏑— England Hockey (@EnglandHockey) November 21, 2017
Get your team involved ➡️ https://t.co/kUoPlBpXy4 pic.twitter.com/LTd9i7jzK9
Really great @BHHC 6's game today and proud wearing our #rainbowlaces along with national @EnglandHockey league teams in support of @stonewalluk 🌈 laces campaign to make sport everyone's game. We are #Byyourside. #ComeOutForLGBT #firefighterkatie #SOGIEMatters pic.twitter.com/gTu4Jq9v54— Katie Cornhill (@KatieCornhill) November 25, 2017
Stonewall shared its delight at the number of elite and amateur sports clubs taking part on Twitter.
So many Rainbows around in sport today, across so many specialisms. What a fantastic sight. Together we are stronger and we WILL make sport EVERYONES game— StonewallFC (@StonewallFC) November 25, 2017
Happy #RainbowLaces Day ⚽️🏳️🌈 pic.twitter.com/QBjfz0sD7n
So far, the charity has sold more than 180,000 pairs of rainbow laces.