More than half of British people think it’s important to call out anti-LGBTQ language being used at sporting events.

New research released by LGBTQ charity Stonewall found that 58% of respondents agreed that using the term ‘gay’ as a pejorative – amongst other homophobic, biphobic, and transphobic slurs – should be called out when heard at live sporting matches.

However, only 25% said they would feel confident enough intervening and challenging the person using the abusive language.

Stonewall polled 1,000 British adults for this new survey, finding that there is what they’ve described as a group of “hesitant allies”.

In response, the charity has put together some top tips in a drive to encourage fans and athletes to be “active allies” and support LGBTQ people in sport.

They have launched this as part of their ongoing Rainbow Laces campaign, which is supported by TeamPride.


“Sport is one of our strongest tools for social change, which is why it’s so powerful to see so many people wanting to do more to support LGBT people and challenge anti-LGBT abuse in sport,” said Kirsty Clarke, Stonewall’s Director of Sport.

“This year we want our Rainbow Laces campaign to give people confidence to show their visible support for lesbian, gay, bi and trans people, either on or off the pitch. Our research shows what a huge appetite there is among people to kick discrimination out of sports at all levels.

“Over the past few years, we’ve seen inspiring work from many sporting associations who are committed to creating an inclusive and welcoming atmosphere. We want more players, fans, clubs and organisations to join in and understand how they can play a part in changing attitudes and standing up for LGBT equality.

“Our work won’t be finished until every lesbian, gay, bi and trans person, from fans to players, are accepted without exception.”

This year, thousands of athletes are lacing up with the rainbow colours in support of LGBTQ people in sport, with top players from the world of football, rugby, darts, and even judo participating.

Stonewall’s Rainbow Laces campaign will be running until Friday, 7 December.