Fixtures - Top Bar

Newcastle Falcons players to wear rainbow laces in support of Stonewall campaign

A host of Newcastle Falcons players will wear rainbow laces in their boots during Friday’s televised Aviva Premiership match at Northampton Saints, raising awareness around tackling hate crime, homophobia, biphobia and transphobia.

The initiative is being co-ordinated by Stonewall, Britain’s leading charity for lesbian, gay, bi and trans equality, working to create a world where every single person can be accepted without exception.

Northumbria Police have given their full backing, with 15 police officers working shifts that day across Newcastle and Gateshead also lacing up their boots using the multi-coloured laces to show their support.

rainbow-laces-sign

Both organisations feel strongly about the cause and are coming together with other partner agencies to get the message out to the public that ‘being you is not a crime’ and that hate crime has no place in sport, either on or off the field.

Stonewall realises that most sport fans and players do welcome and accept lesbian, gay, bi and trans teammates and fans, and so the rainbow laces are therefore for everyone to come together in a sign of solidarity to send a united positive message that LGBT people are welcome in sport and across wider society.

Newcastle Falcons club captain Will Welch is fully supportive of the initiative, saying: “Rugby always prides itself on being an inclusive sport, and any way in which we can further emphasise that message is fantastic.

“A number of our players will be wearing the rainbow laces at Northampton on Friday in front of a big crowd and a worldwide TV audience, which should bring additional awareness of the values we hold as a club and a sport.”

Winger Marcus Watson added: “This is a very public way for us to tell people about the values of our game.

“I was in the England Sevens squad last year and one of our players, Sam Stanley, was the first English professional rugby union player to come out as being openly gay. Obviously this is not just supporting him, but is supporting everybody in that position, and we will be sporting those rainbow laces proudly when we run out at Northampton.”

Northumbria Police Chief Inspector Steve Hails said: “We are delighted that the Falcons are joining us in promoting this fantastic campaign and the rainbow laces initiative. It’s great to see a club of their stature recognising the importance of tackling hate crime and joining us in trying to get our messages out to the public. It will be fantastic seeing the players take to a packed out stadium wearing the laces and giving us their support. Even if one person in the crowd gets the message then it will all be worth it and it’s a step in the right direction for us.

“Tackling hate crime is a priority for the force and it’s something that everyone needs to be aware of as we all have a sexual orientation and gender identity and we have the right for this to be respected. ‘Being you is not a crime’ is about all aspects of hate crime, but this initiative with the rainbow laces is focusing on hate crimes targeting sexual orientation and gender identity and expression. Hate crime, of any kind, will not be tolerated. People should be free to be themselves and express themselves however they wish and if anyone feels that they are being targeted because of who they are then please contact us, speak to us, and we will help.”

rainbow-laces-kick

Rebecca Stinson, head of trans inclusion at Stonewall, said: “Homophobia, biphobia and transphobia are not acceptable when it comes to any sport, and it is great to see Northumbria Police joining forces with the Newcastle Falcons to tackle this. Stonewall is committed to making sport everyone’s game, and with partnerships like this it is hoped we will see real change.”

Latest News

Aviva Premiership Rugby stars to feature heavily in Lions final midweek game

EIGHT Aviva Premiership players will start the British & Irish Lions’ final midweek game tomorrow looking to force their way…

Teofilo Paulo excited by London Irish move but will miss home cooking

Samoan international Teofilo Paulo is making the most of his mum’s cooking ahead of the summer move to London Irish.…

British & Irish Lions beaten in first Test by New Zealand

Two second-half tries from winger Rieko Ioane helped New Zealand to a 30-15 victory in the first Test against the…

Harlequins Ladies coach savours upcoming Women’s Super Rugby season

Women’s sport is booming according to former Richmond prop and Scotland captain Karen Findlay, who is now relishing the prospect…

Aviva Tackling Numbers programme celebrated at Corporate Engagement Awards

Premiership Rugby and its Aviva Tackling Numbers programme enjoyed not one but two moments in the spotlight at the Corporate…

Corporate Engagement Awards

Lions ready for battle on eve of All Blacks Test

After months of waiting and weeks of build-up, The British & Irish Lions are ready to face the toughest challenge…

Saracens and London Irish to kick off the season at Twickenham

SARACENS and London Irish will help launch the 2017-18 Premiership Rugby season after being chosen as the home sides for…

Ex-England star Susie Appleby excited to lead Gloucester-Hartpury in inaugural Women’s Super Rugby campaign

Former England international Susie Appleby believes it’s an exciting time for women’s rugby as she issues a rallying cry to…

Wasps confirm 2017/18 pre-season schedule

Wasps have today confirmed their 2017/18 pre-season schedule, which will see them face Connacht Rugby and Ulster Rugby, as well…

Wasps celebrate

Quartet sign Academy contracts with Bath Rugby

Bath Rugby is delighted to confirm that Rhys Davies, Wil Partington, Miles Reid, and Kieran Verden have all signed long-term…

Todd Blackadder

Clare Daniels hoping to inspire the next generation of female rugby referees

The first female official in Aviva Premiership Rugby history, Clare Daniels, has urged girls and women to take up officiating…

Luke McLean enthused by London Irish move

Luke McLean is looking to reignite his international career under Italy Head Coach Conor O’Shea following his summer move to…

All Black Francis Saili joins Harlequins

Harlequins is excited to confirm today (Wednesday 21st June) that All Black Francis Saili has joined the Club. Commenting on…

Francis Saili

Bath Rugby sign Phillips from Bristol Rugby

Bath Rugby is pleased to announce the signing of James Phillips, who has joined the Club from Bristol Rugby until…

JamesPhillips1

Nowell gets two tries as Lions see off Chiefs in Hamilton

Exeter Chiefs’ Jack Nowell returned to his sparkling best with two tries for the British & Irish Lions in their…

Nalaga a big coup for Irish says international teammate Tikoirotuma

Explosive wing Napolioni Nalaga can be an big hit in every sense of the word during next season's Aviva Premiership…

Masi and Everard return to Wasps alongside new Academy Manager Jonathan Pendlebury

Wasps are pleased to announce a new Academy structure ahead of the 2017/18 season. The new set-up sees former Yorkshire…

The new Wasps academy coaches

Sale Sharks announce signing of Australia international James O’Connor

Sale Sharks have announced the latest in a wave of world class signings, as they confirm Australian International James O’Connor…

Sale Sharks announce signing of Australia international James O’Connor

Lions prepared for final warm-up before All Blacks Test

After a crucial victory against the Maori All Blacks, the British & Irish Lions are just a single match away…