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Rainbow Laces Are Tackling Homophobic Abuse In Football

Sponsored by Coca Cola
Sponsored by Coca Cola
Rainbow Laces Are Tackling Homophobic Abuse In Football

Imagine turning up to the dressing room on a Sunday morning wanting to feel excited about the game you love, but you're gripped by anxiety.

Ordinarily, you'd be thinking about the first pass or first big tackle, but instead, you're worried about the opposition and how they'll react when they find out you play for an LGBTQ+ team.

Will they treat you as they would any other player? Or will they bombard you with insults and threats? Will they hit you that little bit harder in the tackle? Would it be easier to just hide your sexuality?

This is the mental burden many LGBTQ+ players carry with when they take to the field every weekend. Grappling with this pressure and fear has been highlighted in a new short film created by SPORTbible, in conjunction with Coca-Cola and its support of the Rainbow Laces campaign.

In the video, players from LGBT-friendly football club, Titan FC, come together with AFC Muswell Hill, a team of straight players, to share their stories and discuss the issues facing LGBT footballers.


Image: Coca Cola
Image: Coca Cola

After a candid discussion in the dressing room the two teams went head-to-head on the pitch. A physical encounter, full of fast, attacking football saw Titan FC seal victory with an impressive 2-1 win.

Both teams were wearing Rainbow Laces to show support to the LGBT community. The laces had been collected by Titans FC from AFC Muswell Hill at Vicarage Road, home to Watford, after Coca-Cola had purchased 30,000 pairs and was handing them out as part of it's 'Where Everyone Plays' campaign with the Premier League.

Image: Coca Cola
Image: Coca Cola

The laces were handed out on giant welcome mats that were placed at a number of Premier League stadia, alongside a can of Coca-Cola zero sugar. The activation is designed to raise awareness that football is a game for everyone and to celebrate the incredible diversity throughout the Premier League.

The mats aimed to reiterate the message that everyone is welcome and has the right to support their team in a safe and fun environment.

As well as a donation to Stonewall, which will help ensure they can continue their vital work, Coca-Cola has also partnered with other organisations to join TeamPride, which is committed to making LGBT people feel welcomed and included in sport.

Topics: Football News, Football, LGBT

Ben Welch
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