RAINBOW LACES CAMPAIGN

RAINBOW LACES CAMPAIGN

This weekend sees the return of the Rainbow Laces campaign, where rugby and football aim to raise awareness and work towards ending ending discrimination of LGBT players and fans. You may remember the brilliant video the Arsenal players did a couple of years ago, where they stated that they couldn't help looking "gorgeous"/"like a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle".

The FA site has posted an FATV exclusive video, which shows Coventry City's Chris Stokes, who was found to have sent a homophobic tweet discussing the educational programme he has undergone since which can be viewed below.

And it won't just be top division professional footballers showing their support by wearing those famous rainbow design laces in their boots. County FAs will join in the initiative, as will Premiership Rugby, the FA, English Football League, Rugby Football Union and hopefully players in other leagues and sports too.

In 2016, it is, of course, a travesty that this initiative even needs to exist. But sadly, like I'm sure most who experience the rough and tumble, brutal "banter" of the typical football crowd will testify, for far too many people involved in the game - as in, to be fair, plenty of other areas of society - using somebody's sexuality as a means to insult them (whether the abuser actually believes it or not) is still too common.

Look out for players wearing a pair of Rainbow Laces in their boots this weekend and the surrounding pitch displays at Premier League grounds showcasing the Rainbow to raise awareness of what many in the LGBT community go through when spectating or playing in a football match.