To mark our support for Stonewall’s Rainbow Laces campaign over the next two weeks, Hector Bellerin made a call to the Gay Gooners – the UK’s first and world’s largest LGBT+ football fan group to understand more about the significance of the campaign and learn more about the personal experiences of our diverse fan base.
We will show our support for the campaign around our Premier League matches against Tottenham Hotspur and Burnley and our Women's Super League fixture against Birmingham City as part of our ongoing commitment to equality and diversity.
All three fixtures will feature rainbow captain’s armbands, ball plinths and boards displaying the iconic branding to remind supporters of the ongoing work that goes on across football and other sports to support and celebrate our LGBT+ communities.
“For me, the number one thing is that everyone can feel safe and in an environment where they can go and support their football club just like everyone else”, Bellerin explained.
“I am very proud and happy that the club I am a part of does everything they can for all the fans. It doesn’t matter about their gender, sexuality or race – they are always welcome to be part of our family and we are doing everything we can to make people feel safe and enjoy football.
“I feel very lucky and grateful that I was raised in an environment with friends and a family that taught me to respect everyone the way they are and that’s the same way I feel today.
“I know the world of football is a world where it is very difficult to talk about this kind of subject, but if there is nobody that pushes the boundaries and nobody that wants to start that conversation, then it’s never going to happen. I am not afraid to help in any way I can - that’s what I want to do.”
Our Arsenal in the Community team have undertaken Stonewall’s training to deliver workshops around becoming an LGBT+ ally to participants on our BTEC and Arsenal Gap Year programmes. This delivery forms part of a wider equality programme, which has included sessions on other topics such as hate crime.
Staff across the club will take part in a sexuality and gender identity workshop which will provide a safe space to discuss and learn about LGBT+ issues and allyship.
Over the next two weeks we are united in standing with all Premier League clubs to highlight this support, but we are committed to embedding diversity and inclusion across our club every day in everything we do so everybody connected to the club feels an equal sense of belonging to the Arsenal family.
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