United back Rainbow Laces campaign

Thursday 10 December 2020 12:00

Manchester United’s Men’s and Women’s teams will come together this weekend to give our backing to football’s nationwide Rainbow Laces campaign, demonstrating the club's support for all lesbian, gay, bi and trans people within the game and beyond.

At Old Trafford, in the derby match against Manchester City on Saturday, the LED perimeter boards, substitute board and matchday branding will highlight the campaign. Team captains across the Premier League will come together by wearing rainbow armbands in a visible show of acceptance and unity.

Club captain Harry Maguire said: “Wearing the Rainbow Laces armband is an honour. We are a club that is welcoming and open to all and this weekend we can send that message to all of our fans around the world.”

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Club partners adidas will also collaborate by unveiling a giant centre circle banner featuring a powerful ‘One Love’ message. United’s social profiles, meanwhile, will take the message to millions of fans worldwide with new rainbow-themed imagery.

On Sunday, Casey Stoney’s side will be wearing rainbow laces for their away match against Reading. Casey backed the initiative last week. “It should be about normalising that love is love," she said. "Campaigns like these are about visibility and raising awareness and it’s important.”

This follows the announcement last month that Manchester United has entered a strategic partnership with LGBT+ equality charity Stonewall. United signed up to Stonewall’s Diversity Champions programme to strengthen its work in the promotion of diversity and inclusion under its banner of ‘All Red All Equal’.

This includes participation in Stonewall’s Workplace Allies programme to help non-LGBT+ employees across the club and Manchester United Foundation to actively support and promote an LGBT+-inclusive culture.

Local schools will also benefit from a Rainbow Laces education programme being rolled out by Manchester United Foundation who will be challenging pupils to understand, identify and discuss gender stereotypes.

Speaking about Manchester United’s partnership with Stonewall, Group Managing Director Richard Arnold said: “Diversity is a source of strength for Manchester United and ensuring a welcoming environment for LGBT+ employees and fans is a crucial part of that.

“We’re committed to making equality, diversity and inclusion integral to the way we work and this partnership with Stonewall will help us achieve that important goal, building on the range of other initiatives we have underway as part of our All Red All Equal campaign.”