Kent FA will join The Premier League and Football Association to once again take part in the Stonewall Charity campaign; between 25th November – 2nd December, leagues and clubs across Kent are set to host a Rainbow Laces fixture in support for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community in football.
These fixtures will see all players and match officials sport Rainbow Laces in their football boots to amplify the conversation around making football inclusive for everyone; whether you are a fan, player, manager, coach or referee. Recent statistics show that55% of sports fans say they wish more sports players were open about their sexual orientation.
With support from organisations such as Stonewall, and Kick it Out, Kent’s football community - from the Kent County Football League to the Kent Girls & Ladies Football League - will come out in force this year to celebrate the message of the anti-homophobia in sport campaign.
Kent FA Inclusion Football Development Officer, Natalie Curtis said:
“An individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity should never be a barrier to participating in our national sport.
“In partnership with our county’s football community, Kent FA wants to stamp out all forms of discrimination, including LGBT, in football and we strongly encourage those who experience it to report incidents to the Kent FA, through the Kent FA online reporting discrimination guide, the Kick It Out app or to the police.
“Over the past 15 years football has made enormous progress tackling discrimination from the grassroots to the highest levels of the nation’s favourite game, and we’re proud to champion equality for LGBT people in football.”
The support from Kent clubs and leagues has been incredible with over 1000 pairs of laces on show across the two weekends. The Kent County Football League, Kent Youth League, Kent Girls and Ladies Football League, The Kent Disability Football league, South East Counties Women’s Footbal League and the Sevenoaks and District football league are all keen supporters and have been extremely proactive in promoting the Rainbow Laces campaign.
How Can You Get Involved?
One simple action, wearing Rainbow laces, can make a big difference. By getting together to wear it, you are helping to amplify the conversation around LGBT people in football. 63% of sport fans say more should be done to make LGBT people feel accepted in sport and this is setting a strong example to everyone in your local community that your club is a key player in equality. The toolkit below can help support your work with this campaign; or to buy your own #RainbowLaces please visit the Stonewall Campaign Page.
MAKE SPORT EVERYONE’S GAME TOOLKIT (PDF)
STONEWALL RAINBOW LACES CAMPAIGN PAGE
Support The Rainbow Laces Campaign On Social Media
On the day of your fixture:
1. Show your support for the Rainbow Laces campaign
2. Join together with your team-mates and take a picture
3. Upload your images to Twitter, Facebook or Instagram
4. Use #RainbowLaces @FA @StonewallUK
5. Include the names of the teams in the tweets
We’ll then share all the #RainbowLaces images uploaded by clubs across the county on our website.
14-25 Survey…Tell Us What You Really Think!
The FA Youth Council is conducting research to gain a better understanding of the diversity of young people involved in football across England. We want to know the views of all young people aged 14-25, whether you play, volunteer or watch football. Even if you’re not currently involved in football we would really like to hear your views. In line with the #RainbowLaces campaign research suggests that around 60% of young people say that open LGBT players would have a positive impact on the culture of sport.
The survey should only take about 5-10 minutes of your time and your answers will be completely anonymous.By completing the survey you will have the chance to win 2 England tickets to a game at Wembley Stadium. Closing date Thursday 14th December 2017.
Take the Survey
Reporting Hate Crime To The Police
Kent FA continue to encourage fans and players to report homophobic abuse displayed around the football clubs.
Hate crime is any criminal offence perceived by the victim or any other person as being motivated by prejudice or hate, based on a person’s sexual orientation, transgender identity, race, religion, or disability.
Hate crime victims may experience physical assault, people swearing or making abusive remarks, spitting, insulting gestures or people doing things that frighten, intimidate and cause distress.
Victims and witnesses can report incidents to police without fear via the non-emergency number 101, or 999 if a crime is on-going. Victims can be reassured that they will be taken seriously and treated with sensitivity.
However if people do not feel comfortable speaking directly to police, hate crime can also be reported online through the True Vision website which all police forces in England, Northern Ireland and Wales are signed up to. The online report will then be forwarded to the relevant local police force.