The Football Community in Hertfordshire is backing the Rainbow Laces anti homophobia in sport campaign in the coming week.
Hertfordshire FA will join The Premier League & Football Association to once again take part in the Stonewall Charity campaign; between 25 November - 2 December, leagues and clubs across the local football community in Hertfordshire are set to host a Rainbow Laces fixture in support for lesbian, gay, bi and Trans 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’re a fan, player, manager, coach or referee.
With support from organisations such as Stonewall, Football v Homophobia, and Kick it Out, Hertfordshire’s football community - from the Premier League to the Herts Girls Football Partnership League - will come out in force this year to celebrate the message of the anti-homophobia in sport campaign.
Chief Executive Officer of the Hertfordshire FA, Vicki Askew 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, Hertfordshire FA wants to stamp out LGBT discrimination in football and we strongly encourage those who experience it to report incidents to the Hertfordshire FA, through the online 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 lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in football.”
In local football, the Herts Senior County League, Stevenage FA Futsal 5s League & Herts Girls Football Partnership League will be hosting dedicated Rainbow Laces fixtures as part of the campaign.
Ted Collie, Chairman of the Senior County League said:
“The Arcerbis Herts Senior County League is delighted to support this initiative and I am sure that it will go well. I’m proud of the overwhelming support we’ve had from the clubs and fan groups in the League.
“The Rainbow Laces campaign complements the work we want to do to promote inclusion and diversity in local football, and across all levels of the game.”
Fixtures & Events
Saturday 25th November
Tottenham Hotspur FC vs West Bromwich Albion FC
Wembley Arch lit up in Rainbow Colours
Tuesday 28th November
Watford FC v Manchester United FC
Wednesday 29th November
Santos v S3
FA Futsal Fives: Stevenage League
Saturday 2nd December
Chipperfield Corinthians FC v Cuffley FC
Premier Division, Acerbis Herts Senior County League
Saturday 2nd December
Garston Ladies U16 Pumas v Harvesters U16s
Herts Girls Football Partnership League
Saturday 9th December
Stevenage FC vs Wycombe Wanderers FC
English Football League 2
72% of football fans have heard homophobic abuse.
63% of sport fans say more should be done to make LGBT people feel accepted in sport.
60% of young people say that open LGBT players would have a positive impact on the culture of sport.
55% of sports fans say they wish more sports players were open about their sexual orientation.
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. You are setting a strong example to everyone in your local community.
Support the Rainbow Laces Campaign on Social Media
The day of fixtures :
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.
16-25 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 16-25, whether you play, volunteer or watch football. Even if you’re not currently involved in football we would really like to hear your views.
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 Friday 14 December 2017.
Stamping Homophobia Out of Football in Hertfordshire
In 2015, the Hertfordshire FA teamed up with the Hertfordshire Constabulary and the county’s football clubs - with support from organisations such as Football v Homophobia, Stonewall and Kick it Out - to make a stand against homophobia, biphobia and transphobia in football.
Clubs from around the county sent players from their respective teams to take part in an event at Stevenage FC’s Lamex Stadium on Broadhall Way to demonstrate their support for the campaign.
Clubs involved included; Stevenage FC, Stevenage Ladies FC, Watford FC, Watford Ladies FC, Boreham Wood FC, Hitchin Town FC, Hitchin Town Ladies FC, Hertford Town FC, Hemel Hempstead FC and the Hertfordshire Constabulary’s Veterans Teams
Reporting Hate Crime to the Police
Hertfordshire 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.