Arsene Wenger has given his backing to the Rainbow Laces campaign, which aims to remind fans and clubs from across the world that homophobia in football, and sports in general, is unacceptable.
The captains of Manchester United and Arsenal will exchange a pair of super-sized Rainbow Laces in a historic moment before kick-off at their game at Old Trafford on Sunday, and the Arsenal manager believes that people’s sexuality should be an irrelevance in sport.
“Sport is based on merit, not identity,” he said. “No matter where you come from or what kind of sexuality you are, you just play on merit,
“If you are good enough, you play. Sport is a big example. It is what society should be about. If you are good enough you play and sport can be a big example.”
You don’t have to scratch the surface very far to find an underbelly of homophobia in football, and as yet, unlike in other sports like rugby and GAA, no Premier League player has felt comfortable enough to come out because of that.