As part of our ongoing commitment to diversity and inclusion, Chelsea is supporting Stonewall’s Rainbow Laces campaign when Aston Villa visit Stamford Bridge on Wednesday and at the Women’s match at home to Manchester City on Sunday.
We are committed to ensuring our club is a safe and welcoming place for LGB&T (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) people, their friends and families, and so are proud to once again be supporting the campaign which sends a strong message of zero tolerance to homophobic, biphobic and transphobic behaviour, whether on the pitch, in the stands or on social media.
The captains of both our men’s and women’s teams will be wearing special rainbow-themed armbands to show their backing for the campaign, and players at all levels are being invited to wear rainbow-coloured laces in their boots.
In addition at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday, we will be showing our support with a rainbow-themed centre-circle banner prior to kick off, a rainbow-branded ball plinth, pitch flag, handshake board and substitutions boards, and our LED perimeter boards will display information about the campaign.
At the Women’s WSL game against Man City on Sunday 8 December we will be hosting an event for Chelsea Pride, the club’s LGBT fans’ group, and Nutmegs, a football community for women of colour and non-binary people of colour.
Talking about the campaign, men’s head coach Frank Lampard said: ‘Wednesday’s game is in support of Stonewall’s Rainbow Laces as part of the club’s wider work promoting diversity at Chelsea and in football generally. It’s vital for us to make it clear that every community is welcome at our club and we won’t tolerate any form of discrimination here and we’ll be putting that message across in various ways at the Bridge.’
Women’s head coach Emma Hayes added: ‘Our football club has been one of the driving forces in promoting a more tolerant, more diverse place to be, not just for our players but for our fans. The Rainbow Laces campaign is an important one and represents a varied group of people and is certainly a campaign we’re proud to be part of.’
Anyone who witnesses or experiences homophobic, biphobic or transphobic behaviour, or any other form of discrimination, at a match should report it to a steward or send a text message to 07894 93 77 93 with the stand, row, seat number and description of the offender and incident. Alternatively, you can phone 0207 386 3355 and all information will be treated in the strictest confidence.
Chelsea FC is proud to be a diverse club welcoming staff, players, fans and families from diverse backgrounds and communities around the world. Tackling discrimination in all its forms, including anti-LGBT discrimination, is an important part of our work.