Arsenal and Manchester United will lace up to help change sport before Sunday's Premier League fixture at Old Trafford, as part of Stonewall’s Rainbow Laces campaign.
The team captains will exchange a pair of giant rainbow laces before kick-off to show their support to the Stonewall campaign to promote equality for lesbian, gay, bi and trans people in sport. Both teams will also sign the giant laces, with fans being given the opportunity to win a signed lace by following the hashtag #RainbowLaces on Twitter.
Research from Stonewall, the lesbian, gay, bi and trans equality charity, shows that homophobia, biphobia and transphobia continue to be rife in many sports. In football alone, seven in 10 fans have heard homophobic abuse on the terraces. Stonewall is urging fans to challenge this behaviour where they see and hear it, and explain why discrimination has no place in sport.
Arsène Wenger said: "We are proud to be supporting the rainbow laces campaign again this year, because discrimination has no part to play in our game at all. Football is about people coming together for a common purpose, to share emotions and experiences. It should not be important who you are or where you are from."
The club’s work with its LGBT supporters group, the Gay Gooners, continues with ‘The Fans for Diversity five-a-side tournament’ on the day of the Manchester United game at The Arsenal Hub - home of Arsenal in the Community.
The five-a-side competition will feature eight mixed-sex teams. There will be a cross section of supporters and a number of different communities playing in the tournament, including The Punjabi Rams, Football Beyond Borders, The Homeless FA, Football v Homophobia, Stonewall and an Arsenal staff team.
There will also be a match between the Gay Gooners and their Tottenham Hotspur counterparts, The Proud Lilywhites, ahead of the north London derby on Saturday March, 5 at White Hart Lane.
Spectators at The Arsenal Hub are welcome - please register in advance with firstname.lastname@example.org so your name can be given to the security team.
The tournament runs from 10am-1pm.Copyright 2017 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source