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Club News

Right Behind Gay Footballers

19 September 2013

Paddy Power & gay rights charity Stonewall set out to tackle homophobia in football

Paddy Power, in association with leading gay rights charity Stonewall, today sets out to tackle homophobia in football by distributing rainbow-coloured  football boot laces to every professional player in the UK. #RBGF

There are more than 5,000 professional footballers across England, Scotland and Wales but none of them are openly gay. It’s recognised that gay footballers are too worried about the impact on their careers and personal lives to ‘come out’ rather than there being no gay footballers. This scenario has odds of over a quadragintillion to one. And, no, we’re not taking bets on the subject.

German goalkeeping legend Oliver Kahn, who played 86 times for his country, recently admitted the issue of homosexuality was still a taboo subject for footballers and fans. He said homosexuality was no longer a “big deal” in society but said it would be “naive” to think that it was the same in football.

Paddy Power and Stonewall have created rainbow-coloured football boot laces (Rainbow Laces) and distributed them to every footballer across all 134 professional clubs in the UK. Each of these players is being asked to wear the special laces in Saturday's games to show they support gay footballers. 

The simple message of ‘Right Behind Gay Footballers‘ is designed to kickstart a fundamental change in attitude.

It’s not about forcing anyone to come out.  We love football and this issue needs a bold approach.

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