The power of rainbow laces
French rugby players have always been amongst our favourite sportsmen, but the national team is showing their true colours by stepping up to be part of the Rainbow Laces campaign.
The Rainbow Laces campaign is an annual campaign designed to encourage the sporting world to demonstrate their support for LGBTQ equality and inclusion. All levels of sport are encouraged to participate – national teams, elite clubs, governing bodies, amateur athletes, local clubs, and fan groups.
Confirmation that the French rugby team would be taking part in the Rainbow Laces campaign came from Serge Simon – the vice-president of the French Rugby Federation. Simon was responding to news that former rugby international Gareth Thomas has recently been the victim of a homophobic assault.
“Dear Gareth Thomas, all French Rugby is with you…” tweeted Simon. “To show our support, the French rugby players will wear a rainbow shoe lace during the France – Fiji game on Saturday night. We’re all in with you in this matter.”
It may sound like a small thing, but in the world of rugby an international match is a high profile event. The French team’s visible support for Gareth Thomas and the wider LGBTQ community sends an incredibly powerful signal to players, fans, and young LGBTQ people around the world.
“We know there are long-standing barriers to participation and representation in sport for LGBT people and while it’s an improving picture, there’s still a great deal for us all to achieve…” explains Jon Holmes of Sky Sports. Holmes is also the founder of Sports Media LGBT+ and is taking an active role in the promotion of the Rainbow Laces campaign. “Everyone deserves to feel safe and supported in sport, because they can then be the best versions of themselves and achieve more.”