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Potter: Let's make football, and sport, everyone's game

Graham Potter has spoken about the importance of initiatives such as the Rainbow Laces campaign, in making football open to all. Speaking ahead of Rainbow Laces Day, Albion’s head coach has highlighted the strides made in recent years, and says the club are proud to support the campaign.

By Paul Camillin • 27 November 2019

By Paul Hazlewood
Graham Potter is supporting the Rainbow Laces campaign.

Potter said, “For me personally, and for the club, it’s essential we make the game as open and as welcoming for everyone, regardless of their ethnicity, gender, sexuality or any other characteristic, and initiatives such as this are brilliant, and colourful Rainbow Laces campaign are an excellent way of reminding us all that we are not all the same.

“Everybody is different, that’s one of the wonderful things about life and football — and with that in mind, it’s important not to underestimate the impact of seeing a football player wearing a pair of rainbow laces in their boots can have on someone.

“Or the difference that watching a match on TV and seeing a rainbow flag flying at a Premier League stadium can have on a person who may be feeling ostracised from the game they love, or oppressed by the society around them.

“As a game, we want football to be open, for everyone. We want to draw upon the next generation of players, coaches, administrators, fans, journalists, indeed anyone involved with football, from as wider talent pool as possible, and it’s important that we encourage everyone who loves the game of football to get involved in whatever way they can.

“Stonewall’s Rainbow Laces campaign has done an excellent job of highlighting some of the issues and challenges the LGBT communities have faced over the years, and given fans the support and confidence to get involved in the game of football.

“It is thanks to that campaigning that many supporters, who might not have previously felt comfortable or welcome, are now able to enjoy football in the way everyone should. Something many of us simply take for granted.”

Albion v Wolves - 8 December, 4.30pm KO

The 2019 Rainbow Laces campaign began last Friday and runs until Sunday 8th December, when Potter and Albion will be showing their support at the Premier League match against Wolverhampton Wanderers, and at the match against Arsenal at the Emirates the previous Thursday evening.

The slogan is Make Sport Everyone’s Game and equality charity Stonewall, which runs the campaign, has appointed 11 people with different roles in sport to help amplify the campaign's slogan.

Potter added, “It’s been fantastic to see the stories of these brilliant and talented individuals, and hear them speak so eloquently about the subject and the challenges they have faced, and how important the campaign is to them.

“As a club, along with the Premier League, we are absolutely delighted to be showing our support for the campaign once again in 2019 — just as we did at last summer’s Brighton & Hove Pride event, during my first few weeks at the club.”

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