“Did you know what my favorite part of the game is? The opportunity to play” – Mike Singletary
The sports community is simply that. A community. It does not care whether you are rich or poor, academic or not, or even where you are from. All it asks for from someone is devotion, determination and passion to push yourself. Sports can bring out the best in people from team based games that bring together a variety of people and backgrounds to unite under a specific goal or even single player sports, that require self-motivation and resilience to not give up.
Many of these similar attributes can be found in the LGBTQ+ community with one common characteristic standing out for both communities…pride! We want to give a massive shoutout to both of these groups as they both can bring out the best in people and that’s why we want to speak about ‘Rainbow Laces’. ‘Rainbow Laces Day’ is a campaign set up by Stonewall that aims to shine a light of support to all LGBTQ+ players and fans within the sporting community. It’s so important to recognise that these two communities aren’t separate from one another and to make sport everyone’s game!
So, on Wednesday the 8th December, why not join us in the celebration of ‘Rainbow Laces Day’ as we look at the impact of the sport community on LGBTQ+ people and the difference made by LGBTQ+ people within sports. If you play a sport, then why not swap out your laces for the bright and beautiful Pride colours or even check out the link below to see Stonewall’s top tips on how you can get involved!
Stonewall’s Top Tips: https://www.stonewall.org.uk/top-tips-lgbt-inclusion-sport
If you don’t want to wait that long for the celebrations to start then why not check out our list below of all the influential LGBTQ+ athletes that have played an integral part in the sporting community and the future of how and why we play!
Billy Jean King – Professional Tennis player who has won 39 Gram Slam Titles between the years of 1966 and 1975. In 1981, she confirmed claims that she identified as lesbian as it was important for her to tell the truth.
Michael Sam – Came out in 2014 during an interview with ESPN making him the first ever openly gay man to be drafted by the NFL.
Patricio Manuel – First openly transgender boxer who went on to beat Hugo Aguilar during their boxing match in 2018.
Gareth Thomas – Welsh rugby player who is one of the first openly gay rugby players in the UK. Many rugby players across the globe supported him during the Rainbow Laces campaign.
Nicola Adams – One of Great Britain’s most successful female boxers winning gold at the 2012 Olympics. Being openly bisexual, she was nominated back in 2012 as the most influential LGBT person in Britain.