Pride of Irons are proud supporters of the Stonewall Rainbow Laces campaign uniting sport to make sure no lesbian, gay, bi or trans people feel excluded from taking part as a fan or teammate.
This weekend’s Premier League fixtures, including West Ham’s game at Manchester United, will include a host of Rainbow Laces activities to encourage diversity and inclusivity at stadiums across the country.
Research conducted by Stonewall shows that 72% of football fans have heard anti-LGBT remarks at games over the last five years. One in five 18 to 24-year-olds say they’d be embarrassed if their favourite player came out.
Jim Dolan, founder of Pride of Irons, said “I think our club is amazing and the kind of club that supports the values that I hold dear. It’s sometimes not easy being a West Ham fan but we hold strong because it’s in our blood. It’s who we are. And as a club I hear it all the time about how we’re a “West Ham Family”. And I don’t give my family members abuse for who they love. We’re just West Ham fans, so treat us with the same respect as any other fan and we’ll do the same”
Alastair Holmes, Pride of Irons spokesman, said “We want lesbian and gay football fans to know that West Ham United are an inclusive club where anyone, regardless of gender, age, race or sexual orientation can feel welcome and included and enjoy being part of the West Ham family. We’re really pleased that the club and players are demonstrating their commitment, with the club’s crest on the Facebook site and Twitter feed also showing the rainbow colours and are looking forward to Mark Noble leading the team on Saturday wearing the rainbow captain’s armband to show his support.”
- Pride of Irons was formed in 2015 as the official LGBT+ supporters group for West Ham United fans. Their objective is to represent and campaign on behalf of LGBT+ West Ham United supporters with a goal of combatting homophobia in football and increasing opportunities for their members to express their active support of West Ham United. Further details can be found on Facebook or Twitter (@prideofirons).
- Media contacts for enquiries: Alastair Holmes (firstname.lastname@example.org)