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The Premier League and its clubs’ celebration of the 10th anniversary of the Rainbow Laces campaign reinforces their commitment to tackling discrimination and promoting equality and inclusion across all areas of football. This is underpinned by a series of policies and practices, including reporting measures and pastoral care, as well as staff training across the League.

Premier League clubs work hard to promote equality and diversity in everything they do, from the atmosphere and experience in their stadiums to the many projects they run in their communities.

In April 2021, the Premier League launched a new Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Standard (PLEDIS) for all its clubs. PLEDIS is mandatory and requires clubs to demonstrably embed and develop equality, diversity and inclusion across all areas. This builds on the work carried out through the Premier League Equality Standard, which launched in 2015.

The Premier League has partnered with Stonewall since 2017 and has developed programmes and initiatives to support clubs in creating LGBTQ+ inclusivity across all areas of the game.  The League and its clubs support the Rainbow Laces campaign, to celebrate LGBTQ+ inclusion and make it clear that football is for everyone. Some examples of ongoing work:
– LGBTQ+ acceptance has been embedded in club community programmes, such as Premier League Kicks and Premier League Primary Stars.
– The League is committed to increasing the confidence and knowledge of player care professionals in supporting LGBTQ+ inclusion across the professional game.
– The Premier League runs staff training sessions for the League and clubs.

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Educational resources

The Premier League, through the Premier League Charitable Fund, has developed resources and programmes for coaches, teachers and leaders in schools and communities to help promote positive attitudes towards the LGBTQ+ community.

Free downloadable educational resources are available to more than 18,900 schools via Premier League Primary Stars.

These include materials and lesson plans suitable for five- to 11-year-olds focusing on topics such as the importance of diversity and inclusion. New resources have been launched in 2023 to help teachers facilitate discussion on why inclusion is important.

Staff training – Allies Training session

The Premier League offers training for all League and club staff with a focus on understanding of what it means to be an ally and why it is important to have visible and active allies in work and in football.

Player care and support

LGBTQ+ inclusion is a key element of player care and support programmes, which are made available for all team age groups across Premier League clubs. This includes training and workshops for player care staff and ensuring players can access discreet and sensitive support and advice.

Fans for Diversity

The Premier League provides funding to the Football Supporters’ Association and Kick It Out (KIO) for their joint programme Fans for Diversity, which supports the development of all underrepresented fan groups including LGBTQ+ groups. In addition, the Premier League funds KIO to support anti-discrimination work focused on LGBTQ+ through advocacy, training and education.

Tackling online abuse

Since 2019, the Premier League has been proactively monitoring social media platforms to identify abusive content directed at players and report it for removal.

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In June 2020, the Premier League launched an online abuse reporting system to support players, managers and their families who receive discriminatory abuse on social media. In October 2023 this system was made available for fans to report racism they see targeted at players and others within the game. (see 

The Premier League reports and investigates each incident working with the police, Crown Prosecution Service (in the UK) and other relevant authorities in the UK and internationally to take legal action wherever possible.

Enhanced anti-discrimination measures

In August 2021, the Premier League announced new enhanced anti-discrimination measures, including permanent bans from all Premier League matches, for any individual found to have behaved in a discriminatory or abusive way towards any club employee, player, match official, matchday steward or fans attending fixtures.

This covers behaviour conducted in-person or online.

The League has introduced enhanced training for matchday stewards to equip them to identify and respond to discriminatory abuse and assist in gathering evidence to ban perpetrators. 

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Felecia Phillips Ollie DD (h.c.) is the inspiring leader and founder of The Equality Network LLC (TEN). With a background in coaching, travel, and a career in news, Felecia brings a unique perspective to promoting diversity and inclusion. Holding a Bachelor's Degree in English/Communications, she is passionate about creating a more inclusive future. From graduating from Mississippi Valley State University to leading initiatives like the Washington State Department of Ecology’s Equal Employment Opportunity Program, Felecia is dedicated to making a positive impact. Join her journey on our blog as she shares insights and leads the charge for equity through The Equality Network.


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