To Wear Rainbow Laces - Personal Choice, Support LGBT Community, Or Take One For The Team?

What is going on with these Rugby and Soccer Rainbow Laces?  Are they a new fad or a quick response to a recent homophobic attack on one of their own?

Some of us may believe that this new showing of LGBT acceptance in the European soccer, All 20 clubs from the Premier League, clubs in the Football League, the Scottish Premier League, teams from Premiership Rugby, and Welsh Rugby might be in response to Former Rugby Player Gareth Thomas Says He Was The Victim Of A Hate Crime .  French Rugby Players [were soon to react and showed their] Support For Gay Rugby Legend Gareth Thomas.  Maybe the other clubs above were not thinking they needed to respond too quickly to show their support for Gareth Thomas since an LGBT supportive event was already planned from yesterday, November 24th to Friday, December 5th. 

Here's more about the history of the Rainbow Laces.


What is the Rainbow Laces campaign?

Rainbow Laces is spearheaded by Stonewall, a charity that aims to promote LGBT equality and fight homophobia, and their Rainbow Laces campaign is designed specifically to promote lesbian, gay, bi and trans equality within sport.

The Rainbow Laces campaign is due to kick off this weekend across the UK, and will take place from Saturday November 24 to Friday December 7.

Additionally, on November 28, thousands of fans are expected to take part in a huge lace-up in a nationwide support of LGBT athletes for "Rainbow Laces Day", with more than 75,000 Rainbow Laces already being sold.

The Rainbow Laces themselves were created as a symbol of solidarity with the LGBT community within sport, and having high-profile athletes wear them is designed to make LGBT people feel more welcome.

The Rainbow Laces campaign began in 2013, the charity of Stonewall itself was founded in 1989 by a small group of people who had been active in the struggle against Section 28 of the Local Government Act.

Section 28 of the Act was a piece of legislation that aimed to prevent the "promotion" of homosexuality in schools – and though it stigmatised the LGBT community, it also galvanised them. - GOAL.com

Are laces enough? They are definitely a good start. And some type of action is needed, especially after Gareth Thomas & BBC Release 'Hate in the Beautiful Game' - A Look Inside Homophobia In Soccer back in August of 2017.

But who is going to wear the laces? Wallabies boss Michael Cheika and England's Eddie Jones will let their players decide if they make the gesture as rugby chiefs unite in tribute to ex-Wales captain Gareth Thomas. 

Related Post: FIFA Opens Disciplinary Hearings After Mexico Fans Chant Anti-Gay Slurs At The World Cup

Thinking back to just weeks ago, were American Football players able to choose if they wore pink for Breast Cancer Awareness of if everyone on the team had to represent? What about the games around Veterans Day?  I recall most if not all were wearing some type of camouflage to show their support of the military and with the current political climate, we are sure they would have been pointed out by someone.  But then again, I was not looking to see who wasn't wearing garb in tribute or in support and breast cancer and the military are veery different than supporting those gays, bisexuals, transgender, and so on. 

When it comes to the laces, or even uniform colors, or even playing in the game, should players have the choice to wear rainbow laces or not?



TheSun.co.uk reported that Australia rugby star Israel Folau who said ‘gays can go to hell’ under pressure to wear rainbow laces. After his little homophobic show on Twitter last April, eyes are on him to see what he will do. 




He did not wear the Rainbow laces in Saturdays match.

The Telegraph.co.uk reported that Several England players decide against wearing rainbow laces against Australia due to 'comfort issues'

Ben Te’o and Sam Underhill both confirmed that they would not be re-stringing their boots, with the latter explaining his decision.

"I won’t be wearing them personally,” said Underhill. “That is more to do with, and it sounds a bit ridiculous given the size of the issue they are representing, the thickness of the laces.

“They are actually really uncomfortable in my boots and they are really long. I won't be wearing them, but I fully support the LGBT community. That is something we are all very, very keen that people know.  - Telegraph.co.uk

I get it. I really do.  Sports is full of tradition, superstition, repetition, (homophobia), and ceremony.  Changing any of that may result in an alteration of the game mentally and physically.  Maybe, knowing this, they could wear a sweat band instead of laces or other representation, if they choose to do so.

And then there is the religion card as well as the rainbow flag threatening one's masculinity. We understand that, too.  We may not lke it and choose not to accept it, but we understand the choices people make. 

Instincters, what do you think?  Should players be made to wear rainbow articles of clothing to show the team's support of the LGBT community?

You can purchase Rainbow Laces on the Stonewall website for £2.99.

h/t: thesun.co.uk

Rainbow Clad Students Defy Government's Warnings

According to Gay Star News Despite threats from the government, Polish students decided to celebrate Rainbow Friday, a day in which schools and LGBT organizations provide students with information relating to lesbian gay, bisexuals, and transgender people to shed light on the importance of equality.

In a display of (righteous) recalcitrance, Polish students from multiple schools donned their gay apparel by decorating themselves with rainbow garb to celebrate Rainbow Friday, support LGBT rights, and protest the Polish government's regressive stance towards equality. 

Rainbow Friday has been celebrated in Poland for the past three years but it was banned this year due to increasing pressure from the right-wing media, the Minister of National Education, Anna Zalewska, said that any schools caught participating in Rainbow Friday will be breaking Education Laws.

LGBT organizations recognized this policy as a way to silence the voices of LGBT people and called it an "premeditated, ongoing attack." Campaign Against Homophobia, a local LGBT group confirmed that certain schools went through with celebrating Rainbow Friday despite governmental threats. Students posted pictures of themselves in rainbow attire and accessories to Twitter with the hashtag "#TęczowyPiątek," which, in Polish, means "Rainbow Friday." The Polish government will continue to dole out punishments to any schools that participate in Rainbow Friday.

It's nice to see youth fighting back against harmful policies and governmental pressure as it shows promise in regard to attitudes towards equal rights. Since Rainbow Friday has been celebrated in the past, there is a possibility that the decision to ban it may be reversed.

h/t: Gay Star News

Internet Viewers Are Up In Arms At Man Who Spit On A Rainbow Crosswalk

A new viral video is circulating in Canadian news media and has many discussing the 10 second scene.

In the video, found below, we see a man and a woman crossing the road along a rainbow crosswalk. The man not only crosses the street without stepping on the crosswalk, but he also spits on it in mid-stride.

According to CBC News, Lane Specker was the man who recorded the incident through his car’s dashcam at the crossing on Corner Brook, Newfoundland.

In the description attached to the Facebook video, Specker says, “Took the time to let this couple cross the road and the man took the time to spit on the rainbow crosswalk. Take note he also didn’t walk on it. There’s still a long way to go…”

Towleroad reported on the video and reached out to Paul Combden, co-chair of St. John’s Pride, and Stephen Dunn, the director of Closet Monster, to talk about it.

“Here’s the thing: paint will last longer than spit," said Dunn. "And I think that this guy who spit on the crosswalk who, I don’t really care about him, I don’t care about this act, I’ve taken much worse in my life.”

Meanwhile, Combden says he was upset to see the moment because, "It’s what’s happened in Springdale. I grew up in St. John’s, I grew up in a time when there was a lot of violence toward queer people, and we’ve come … so far. There’s so much progress and optimism and hope — [but] there’s been so much media around homophobia and I think there is obviously this pendulum that keeps swinging back and forth between progress and taking a step backwards."

To play devil’s advocate, we must keep in mind that we don’t know for sure if the spitting was the hateful action that we’re all interpreting it as. (Sadly,) spitting on the ground is a common act, and walking outside of a crosswalk isn’t rare either.

That said, the man's motion of spitting on the ground did have a more aggressive burst to it than usual, so immediately taking offense is understandable.

What do you think? Do you think the man purposefully spit on the crosswalk because of its rainbow colors, or do you think all of this talk around the subject is overreacting?

h/t: CBC News, Towleroad

New Jersey is Seeing Rainbows With Their New Crosswalks!

New Jersey is having the best pride ever! The small town of Maplewood is the first city/town in New Jersey to get a permanent rainbow crosswalk. And it is the first rainbow crosswalk on a county road. Located at the intersection of Oakview and Valley Street, the colorful display of pride is getting attention from locals and others who are visiting just to see the new attraction.

Maplewood joins the ranks of some major cities that have permanent rainbow crosswalks like San Francisco, Philadelphia, and West Hollywood. Check out the list of some others here!

NJ.com reports that Dean Dafis, the first openly gay committee member of the Maplewood Township, lead the initiative that saw its share of multiple approvals from the city council and the county.

Dafis says:

We want to do something that would serve as a permanent marker or symbol of our commitment to inclusion.

I wanted it to be something you can encounter every day. We want our youth in particular -- perhaps those struggling to find their way, those in need of empowerment and affirmation -- to proudly cross or walk over their fear and self-doubt.

While many towns have striped their crosswalks in the colors of the rainbow before for Pride, no town in New Jersey has ever done so on a County Road (Valley) and very few towns in the world have done so in permanent fashion as we are doing. This is a historic achievement and one which once again marks Maplewood as a leader and crusader in diversity, inclusion, and equal treatment. When we commit to something here, we do it BIG!

New Jersey will now be able to celebrate pride all year long!

h/t: NJ.com

Two Major US Cities Will Welcome Permanent Rainbow Crosswalks This Year.

It may be a small step (pun intended), but a permanent installation of rainbow crosswalks goes a long way.  That may be my opinion, but I believe others may agree.

May they be in a gayborhood like I saw during on of my trips to Philadelphia (a little faded during September, but still visible),

or the crosswalks in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada accompanied by rainbow picnic tables,

A simple paint job puts a smile on the face.  It's also a statement that we are here.

Every year more communities are added to the permanent rainbow crosswalk club. Up next to join?  Phoenix!

Phoenix Will Add Rainbow Crosswalks to Celebrate LGBT Community

Phoenix will join a nationwide trend of painting crosswalks with a rainbow design to celebrate the local lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.  Three of the largest LGBT organizations asked the city to install two rainbow crosswalks in Phoenix to convey permanent support for the community.  The City Council voted unanimously (with council members Sal DiCiccio and Jim Waring absent) Tuesday April 24, 2018 to allow the crosswalks if the groups foot the bill for the installation and maintenance, which they've offered to do. 

The new crosswalk designs will be displayed at Seventh and Glenrosa avenues and Central Avenue at Portland Street. That's near the Parsons Center for Health and Wellness, where several LGBT organizations are located. - azcentral.com

The Arizona Central elaborated that other cities in the US that have installed permanent rainbow crosswalks are Atlanta, Houston, San Antonio, San Francisco, Seattle, Tucson, and Washington, D.C.. They left out Philadelphia!

The Denver Channel is quick to trumpet that South Broadway to get Rainbow-Striped Crosswalks in Time for Denver Pride.

Organizers say they’ve raised most of the money they need to convert two crosswalks at South Broadway and West Irvington Place into a rainbow-striped symbol of support for Denver’s LGBTQ community.

The initiative is a joint venture between Buffalo Exchange, the Baker-Broadway Merchant Association and city councilors Jolon Clark and Robin Kniech.

Buffalo Exchange holds its annual “crosswalk walk-off” fashion show at that intersection during Denver Pride. This year’s event is set for June 15 and organizers plan to have the crosswalk finished by then.

Organizers plan to use a permanent thermoplastic material for the design rather than paint.

To learn more about the Denver project, visit  https://broadwayrainbowcrosswalk.weebly.com/ and if you know anyone in Denver that can hook us up with some good seats to view the fashion show ...

Not to be left out, other Canadian cities are hopping on board the paint crew. Granted this town is much smaller than Tuscon, Philadelphia, or Denver, but when you're a town of 2,000 people, how many crosswalks do you have?  And now, if you're painting two of them, well that's a big percentile of your crosswalks being all LGBTQ-ified.

The Logy Bay-Middle Cove-Outer Cove town council voted Tuesday evening to create two brightly coloured crosswalks in the community of about 2,000 people.


Deputy Mayor James Cadigan says councillors took it upon themselves to bring the motion forward and all seven members supported it, adding that the crosswalks will likely be in place in a few weeks.

The approach is in stark contrast to a simmering debate in Springdale, a Newfoundland community of about 3,000 people that attracted national attention after its council voted against painting a rainbow crosswalk.

Looks like it might have been part of a step to say our town of 2,000 is better at inclusion and acceptance than your town of 3,000, but then again, maybe it's just people unanimously being humans. 

In looking at the funding for these crosswalks, LGBTQ organizations are hefting the bill in the larger cities.  Since the small union of Logy Bay-Middle Cove-Outer Cove is establishing these most likely temporary rainbow crosswalks, they mat be covering the cost.

Do you think rainbow-painted crosswalks serve a purpose?

Do you think cities should pay for the upkeep of the rainbow crosswalks or should it be up to the LGBTQ community?

Other than the cities we mentioned, where have you seen them?

What did you think when you saw your first rainbow-painted crosswalk in person?

h/t: azcentral.com, denverchannel.com, globalnews.ca

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