Premier League not happy with Rainbow Laces from Stonewall
Posted on September 23, 2013 by Nathan Simpson
Robbie Rogers, via his instagram
Last week with the help of Paddy Power, LGBT rights group Stonewall sent rainbow laces to all 92 Premier League clubs, Football League clubs, and the professional clubs in Scotland. Several Premier League clubs including Manchester United, Tottenham and Norwich, aren’t too happy with how Stonewall and Paddy Power rolled out the initiative and have refused to participate.
Manchester United released a statement that read: ”The club supports the League’s central anti-discrimination efforts through Kick It Out. It is a positive move that Stonewall are now speaking to the League directly, rather than working with a commercial provider on a campaign without involving clubs or players at any stage.”
Tottenham echoed MU’s feelings in their own statement: “Whilst the campaign message is positive and one we support, there was unfortunately no prior consultation with ourselves, the Premier League or other clubs. Such consultation would have enabled us to avoid issues in respect of associated third-party commercial entities.
“We have contacted Stonewall directly and let them know that we are supportive and keen to discuss ways in which we can work together going forward. We are committed to working with organisations such as Stonewall and other agencies to eradicate homophobia in football and society.”
The Premier League organisation itself said all teams are welcome to participate if they so choose. A spokesperson from Paddy Power said the launch of the initiative was not mishandled, and the leagues had ample time discuss whether or not to support the campaign. ”The rainbow laces and information were distributed to all clubs last Friday, three days before the launch, to give them a few days to discuss with players about supporting the campaign.”
And while there has been some push back from Premier League clubs, the Daily Mail notes a number of high-profile players have worn the rainbow laces including Match of the Day host Gary Lineker, Newcastle chief Alan Pardew, players Leroy Fer, Phil Jagielka, Aron Gunnarsson and Russell Martin, BT Sport pundit David James.