As Rainbow Laces celebrate their tenth anniversary, Premiership Rugby are proud to announce their support for a seventh season. The campaign aims to promote equality and inclusion in sport for LGBTQ+ people and address discrimination at all levels to help make sport a game for everyone.
During Gallagher Premiership Rugby Round 17 (17-19 February) and 18, the special Gallagher Premiership Rugby ‘rainbow’ logo will once again be highly visible in matches with players wearing Rainbow Laces in their matches over the weekend. week. In addition, match officials will wear specially designed Rainbow Laces shirts and assistant referees will carry rainbow flags.
Bears prop Jake Woolmore said: “Wearing these lanyards may not seem like that significant, but it makes a world of difference. Our show of support helps spark conversation about LGBTQ+ inclusion in rugby and raises awareness of the issues they face at all levels within the sport. Rainbow Laces may be 10 years old, but there is still work to be done to make everyone feel like they belong and we are proud to stand by Stonewall’s side.”
As part of Premiership Rugby and Gallagher’s commitment to the Rainbow Laces campaign:
- The official match shirts will carry the special rainbow version of the Gallagher Premiership Rugby logo.
- All Gallagher Premiership Rugby players will receive Rainbow Laces and will be invited to wear them in round 17 and round 18 matches.
- Branding at matches will carry Rainbow Laces messaging or become a rainbow to celebrate the weekend. This will include the flags used by the assistant referees and this season Gallagher will upgrade the post pads in support.
- Gallagher employees across the UK will hand out Rainbow Laces to fans at Rounds 17 and 18 matches
- All Premiership Rugby social media accounts will be Rainbow branded
- The LED field will support the campaign
- Premiership Rugby teamed up with Gilbert to produce a special ball and scrum cap to celebrate Rainbow Laces
All supporters and partners are invited to get involved by buying and wearing their Rainbow Laces to show your support too and if you would like to purchase Rainbow Laces click here.
The weekend is part of Premiership Rugby’s long-standing commitment to in-game inclusion, which also sees Premiership Rugby working in partnership with International Gay Rugby (IGR) to eliminate homophobia, biphobia and transphobia from within the game. .
Wayne Morris, Premiership Rugby Director of Community and CSR, He said: “Premiership Rugby and IGR recognize the benefits of working together to enhance recognition and respect for the right of anyone to participate in rugby without discrimination. Through consultation with members of the LGBTQ+ community, we will work with our shareholder clubs to improve tolerance and understanding at all levels – on the field, in the locker room and in the stands. Through education and support, we believe that together we can achieve our common goal: inclusion.
“Stonewall’s research highlights that much remains to be done at all levels to ensure rugby is a sport for everyone, both on and off the pitch. Only 43% of sports fans believe live sporting events are welcome for LGBTQ+ fans, and only 40% think competitive sports are welcome for gay, lesbian and bisexual players.”
Liz Ward (she/her), Director of Programs at Stonewallsaid: “It’s fantastic to see Gallagher Premiership Rugby come together to celebrate LGBTQ+ inclusion as we approach the tenth anniversary of our Rainbow Laces campaign.
“We know that sport has the incredible power to bring people together and both Gallagher and Premiership Rugby have long been leaders in supporting a more inclusive game. When clubs show up in our communities, it goes a long way toward helping fans and players feel more welcome about participating in the sport they love.”
As with Premiership Rugby last year, Gallagher is asking fans, players and the rugby community across the country to get involved and show their support by buying their own lanyards and wearing them proudly over the weekend.
Bhuttu Mathews (he/he/her), Chairman of International Gay Rugbysaid: “International Gay Rugby (IGR) is delighted to support Premiership Rugby’s promotion of the Rainbow Laces campaign. Full inclusion is at the heart of IGR’s mission, which is to ensure fairness and equity in rugby. We applaud Premiership Rugby’s leadership, teams, players, staff, referees and supporters for their vision and courage in supporting this campaign. A special thanks to the staff at Premiership Rugby headquarters who have worked diligently to make this campaign happen.
“Every time someone wears rainbow laces on their boots, it affirms their support for the full inclusion in rugby of all people, regardless of their identity or lived experience. Several teams and players, including in particular the Harlequins, have volunteered to lead this campaign. They have our eternal gratitude!
“We call on other competitions and governing bodies to follow the example of Premiership Rugby and affirm rugby as a sport for all.”
New for 2023 are the Rainbow scrum caps which can be purchased here