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🌈 Exeter City proud to support Stonewall's #RainbowLaces campaign on Saturday

Grecians to show support at Tranmere Rovers match

9 December 2021

Exeter City's home match against Tranmere Rovers on Saturday, December 11 (kick-off 3pm), will see the club support this season's Rainbow Laces campaign as part of a nationwide action to promote inclusion and diversity in football.

Exeter City is proud to be supporting Stonewall's Rainbow Laces campaign to "Lace Up and Speak Up" for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans or Queer (LGBTQ+) inclusion in football.

The campaign aims to create a broader, louder and more impactful movement for LGBTQ+ inclusion in sport, with the hope that every conversation will move a step closer to achieving the ambition of making sport everyone’s game.

Proud Grecians and volunteers before the Exeter v Northampton Rainbow Laces game.jpg

Support of the Rainbow Laces campaign will help celebrate LGBTQ+ inclusion within the EFL and highlight the great work clubs are doing in this area.

The campaign is not just about wearing Rainbow Laces, it is about opening up conversations about sport and the wider community to further inclusivity.

Proud Grecians, Exeter City's LGBTQ+ and allies Supporter's Group, the club's One Game One Community Group, Exeter Pride and Isca Apollo, the Exeter LGBT+ friendly community football team, volunteers will hand out laces to some of those attending the game.

In addition, rainbow corner flags will be used, the team captain's will wear rainbow arm bands, announcements will be made and details about the campaign will be placed in the match programme.

Exeter City FC inclusive youth session with Dan, Jonah, Ethan, Logan, AJ and Levi at Wonford Sports Centre.JPG

Prior to the day, 300 members of the club's community teams have been given Rainbow Laces to wear in support of the campaign.

One in eight LGBT people avoid going to the gym or taking part in sports groups because of fear of discrimination and harassment, while more than two in five LGBT+ people think public sporting events are not a welcoming space for them (LGBT in Britain: Hate crime and discrimination, YouGov and Stonewall 2017).

Fans, sports leaders and athletes are all playing their part in order to help kick discrimination out of sport. According to Stonewall research, four in 10 LGBT people (43 per cent) think public sporting events aren't welcoming for them.

Rainbow laces which were given out at the Exeter v Northampton game IMG_4139.JPG

Exeter City has a long history of supporting rights for all, including taking a stand against homophobia for more than 10 years by supporting the annual Football v Homophobia initiative each February.

Exeter City’s One Game One Community Group is part of the national Kick it Out campaign which aims to address all types of discrimination in football including race, disability, gender, age, religion and sexual orientation.

The flag being carried around the pitch at half-time at St James' Park, Exeter.JPG

Proud Grecian founder Alan Quick, a member of the Supporters Trust, its OGOC Group, co-founder of Exeter Pride and local co-ordinator for Football v Homophobia, said: "Exeter City has a great record of opposing homophobia and all types of discrimination and it is a credit to the club.

"I have proudly co-ordinated and sponsored the rainbow laces campaign across Exeter for many years.

"I think it is a really important campaign because it reminds everyone that every positive conversation helps to reinforce the message that football is everyone's game."
Alan continued: "We want to make the game inclusive for all, however that might be.

Volunteers with the rainbow flag on the pitch at half-time during the Exeter v Northampton match IMG_4154.jpg

"Wearing Rainbow Laces is a small symbol but it makes a big impact.

"You don't have to be LGBTQ+ to wear Rainbow Laces, you can be an ally and be supportive.

"I would urge everyone to help kick out homophobia, racism and all forms of discrimination, whether it starts as banter which turns into abuse or is via abusive comments made on social media which could be easily deleted or hidden or reported.

"If you hear discrimination at a match, and it is safe to do so, report it to a steward or the police or use the Kick it Out app. There is no room for homophobia or any discrimination in football."

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