Ahead of this weekend’s Rainbow Laces campaign, the EFL, Premier League, PGMOL, and The FA joined together to produce a unique rainbow photograph to show football standing together in support of LGBT inclusivity.
Jack Whatmough was one of the players to take part and the Blues defender said: “It’s important that we do all we can to wipe all forms of discrimination from the sport and I was delighted to represent the club for such a fantastic campaign.”
All 92 League clubs will be supporting Stonewall’s initiative with various activities, including rainbow-coloured captains’ armbands, laces and programme adverts.
"It’s important that we do whatever we can to wipe all forms of discrimination from the sport."
In a league first, EFL clubs will also be proudly displaying rainbow-coloured corner flags at matches this weekend. In addition, England Women’s televised World Cup qualifier against Bosnia & Herzegovina at the Banks’s Stadium on Friday will see all players wearing the rainbow laces.
The Premier League has introduced bespoke rainbow branding to its ball plinths, pitch flags, handshake boards, and timing boards. PGMOL will also be showing their support across the four divisions, with all match officials wearing rainbow laces.
Stonewall’s Rainbow Laces campaign aims to make sport everyone’s game, with national teams, leading clubs, professional players, fans and grassroots players from across football showing their support for LGBT people in sport.
Shaun Harvey, EFL chief executive, said: “We are proud to support Stonewall’s Rainbow Laces campaign again for this season.
“Ensuring a safe and welcoming environment for supporters attending EFL matches remains a key priority, but the EFL and our clubs are committed to providing a positive experience for all that stretches well beyond the 90 minutes of play.
“Our specific Rainbow Laces initiatives this year has seen EFL clubs come together to raise awareness of this important issue delivered through a range of activities, which this season includes converting all corner flags at EFL grounds up and down the country into rainbow colours.
“This follows the introduction of the bespoke EFL rainbow logo which celebrated the League’s burgeoning relationship with Stonewall earlier this year.
“The campaign very much complements the ongoing work our clubs are undertaking as part of the EFL Equality Code of Practice.
“While acknowledging there has been progress made in this area, there is still work to be done.
“We can never be complacent and that is why the EFL remains committed to supporting campaigns such as this as we continue to promote diversity and inclusivity across all areas of the game.”