The #RainbowLaces campaign which runs until December 8th highlights the discrimination that LGBTQI people face in sports. It supports the Stonewall UK charity and challenges sports teams, athletes, coaches, fans and other sports people to take action toward making sure LGBTQI have an inclusive place in sports.
Scottish Rugby players, Magnus Bradbury, Megan Gaffney, Murray McCallum and Johnny Matthews laced up for the campaign. In a time where so few openly LGBTQI players are active in professional sports, it is important that active athletes take part in promoting inclusion, awareness and representation of LGBTQI athletes. According to Scottish Rugby Director of Development, Sheila Begbie,
“At Scottish Rugby we are really keen to show our support from across the game by wearing Rainbow Laces,” she said. “Our aim is to help highlight the power sport has to bring people together and celebrate LGBT and sport. We want our clubs to be at the heart of their communities to ensure inclusive environments for all.”
Director of Stonewall Scotland, Colin Macfarlane shared,
“At a time when society feels increasingly divided, sport has this unique ability to bring people together from all walks of life. That’s why it’s so inspiring to see more and more sports come together each year to support Rainbow Laces.
“While wearing a simple shoelace might seem like a small gesture, for LGBT people it’s a powerful symbol of acceptance.
“The more players, fans, clubs and organisations that stand up for equality, the sooner we reach a place where all LGBT people, from fans to players, are accepted without exception.’
One of Scotland’s leading inclusive rugby clubs, the Caledonian Thebans are bidding to host the 2022 Bingham Cup have received direct support from Scottish Rugby staff and players toward the campaign. The goal is to build and promote rugby as a sport in which everybody is welcome to participate.
By Dirk Smith