News: Hornets Throw Support Behind Rainbow Laces Campaign

By: Watford FC Staff

Watford FC are once again celebrating Rainbow Laces, demonstrating an ongoing commitment to supporting LGBTQ+ inclusion and making it clear that football is for everyone.

All Premier League matches that took place over the weekend, as well as those being played during this midweek, are being dedicated to Stonewall’s campaign.

Ahead of tonight’s match against Chelsea, Hornets supporters in the Sir Elton John Stand will be given t-shirts to wear over the top of their jackets or to hold up as the players enter the field of play, until the pre-match handshake is completed, resulting in a stunning rainbow display that will be seen by those watching the game across the world.

Last week we invited representatives of Proud Hornets and Chelsea Pride to sit down and discuss the campaign. A video of the conversation will be shown on the big screens tonight and can be seen above.

The two supporter groups also discussed the importance of allyship, the history behind an offensive chant directed by a small number of Hornets fans towards opposition players with links to Chelsea on several occasions this season, and what more needs to be done to address discrimination issues in the game.

Sam Gillings, Watford FC’s Lead Equality Officer, said: “As ever we’re delighted to support the Rainbow Laces campaign.

“Our allyship with Proud Hornets and our commitment to support LGBTQ+ inclusion doesn’t just cover the two match rounds of this campaign, we’re in regular contact with Proud Hornets to discuss issues affecting their members and we support several events across the year.”

Richard Masters, Premier League Chief Executive, said: “Football has a remarkable power to bring people together and it is a priority for the Premier League and our clubs to ensure everybody feels welcome and supported, from players and fans, to staff and all those involved in our many community programmes.

“We and our clubs play an important role in encouraging people to support the LGBTQ+ community. During the Rainbow Laces campaign, we showcase the wide variety of projects and initiatives being conducted all year round to highlight that equality and inclusion are central to everything we do.

“We will continue to ensure that every single Premier League environment is inclusive to all, as well as reinforcing there is no place for discrimination of any kind, wherever it takes place, with those found guilty facing permanent League-wide bans.”

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