Arsenal footballer Vivianne Miedema has been speaking on the impact of Stonewall UK’s Rainbow laces initiative within the sports world.
“Since my first year at Arsenal, I remember getting the Rainbow Laces handed out around December.”
This is the fifth year of Rainbow Laces, an initiative started by Stonewall UK to celebrate the impact of the LGBTQ+ community in sports which Miedema feels is the biggest so far, with so many clubs and athletes joining in.
“As players, we know that many are watching our games. This gives us the ability to influence people’s lives and bring their attention to larger causes.
To support an initiative like this, is a way of showing that football and sports is a safe environment for everyone. Sport connects people, but to do so it needs to have space for anyone and everyone.
No one should be excluded from being able to enjoy or play sports.
I’m a footballer, but most of all I’m a person, and for me as a person, I’ve got certain beliefs. I always say to young kids growing up, just be who you are and stand for what you want to stand for.
This year, people have started to feel more comfortable coming out and speaking up about issues that they have faced or those that has been going on in sports all around the world. I always believe everyone is in different situations and has their own issues going on, and so it’s important to support each other. You can’t do it alone. You need partners, you need allies. You need people around you to support you in that way.
I wish I could take on the world myself, but I’ve learned that I can’t, and that I definitely need help from others.
Finally, we must remember to keep going, not just in June or right now, but throughout the whole year. It’s more than one initiative or just one month.
It’s something that obviously needs time, it’s not going to change overnight. I hope it’s going to keep developing and keep growing over the next couple of years, and we’ll be able to look back and say that we’ve done the right thing this time.”