Chelsea Football Club is supporting Stonewall’s Rainbow Laces campaign at today’s match against Leeds United at Stamford Bridge and at Chelsea Women’s match against West Ham United tomorrow at Kingsmeadow.
Chelsea FC continues to be committed to ensuring our club is a safe and welcoming place for LGBT+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) people, their friends and families, promoting an inclusive sporting community. The Rainbow Laces campaign 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 Rainbow Laces campaign highlights ‘we are strongest when we come together’ and this year, Chelsea will once again be supporting the campaign at both the men’s and women’s games this weekend, as we welcome back the return of fans to our stadiums.
A poem by writer Rikki Beadle-Blair, commissioned by Chelsea and voiced by women’s captain, Magdalena Eriksson, and men’s captain, Cesar Azpilicueta, will be shown ahead of each of the games this weekend to promote the Rainbow Laces campaign. Both captains will once more wear the special rainbow-themed laces with players at all levels invited to wear coloured laces in their boots.
A rainbow display will also take pride of place across the West Stand Upper seating at Stamford Bridge today in celebration of the Rainbow Laces campaign with the Pride of Chelsea centre-circle featuring in the middle of the pitch pre-match for both games. The LED perimeter boards at Stamford Bridge will also display information about the campaign.
Commenting on the campaign, Frank Lampard said: ‘Today’s game is in support of the Rainbow Laces campaign which the club is proud to back. It’s important to us everyone feels welcome at Stamford Bridge, and we don’t tolerate any forms of discrimination.’
Ahead of Chelsea Women’s game, Emma Hayes added: ‘This year, sport has become more important than ever, raising spirits and helping to bring the community together. We all need to continue to support each other and create a safe and inclusive environment for our fans. It’s great that we’re supporting the Rainbow Laces campaign once more as we start to welcome fans back to our games. We look forward to welcoming all our fans back with open arms.’
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 020 7386 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 all backgrounds and communities around the world. Tackling discrimination in all its forms, including anti-LGBT+ discrimination, is an important part of our work. Chelsea recently achieved the Advanced Level of the Premier League’s Equality Standard, the highest level a club can receive, demonstrating a commitment to embedding equality and diversity across all areas of the business, including the work of our charity, the Chelsea Foundation.
This year Stonewall aims to pass over one million pairs of Rainbow Laces sent out. You can find out more about the Rainbow Laces campaign, including how to get your own rainbow laces here or you can get involved in the campaign this weekend using #RainbowLaces on social media.