Major sporting codes around Australia have pledged to end homophobia with rainbow laces.

Some of the biggest names on the Australian sporting field have joined together to boot homophobia out of sport with the Rainbow Laces initiative.

Inspired by a similar program in the UK, this weekend’s inaugural ‘Rainbow Round of Sport’ will see players from all major sporting codes in Australia wearing specifically designed rainbow laces to show their support for LGBTI inclusion in sport.

The program is a joint initiative of ACON’S LGBTI workplace inclusion program, Pride in Diversity, and sportswear company Skins, who created over 100,000 rainbow laces for the event.

Teams who have already committed to wearing Rainbow Laces this weekend are the Penrith Panthers, Brisbane Lions, North Queensland Cowboys, GWS Giants, the Brumbies, Sydney FC, the Waratahs and the NSW Swifts.

The #RainbowLaces campaign launched yesterday at Bondi Beach with the support of players from the Brisbane Lions, GWS Giants, North Queensland Cowboys, Sydney FC, Australian Rugby Union, Professional Footballers’ Australia, Rugby League Players’ Association and the Rugby Union Players’ Association.

Famous faces amongst the supporters included Matildas player Michelle Heyman, NSW Swifts’ Sharnie Layton and Johnathan Thuston from the North Queensland Cowboys.

The results of the 2015 Out in the Fields survey highlighted how widespread homophobia is in Australian sport. The study revealed that only 1% of respondents believed LGBTI people were accepted within sports and 80% had experienced homophobia in sport.

The ‘Rainbow Round of Sport’ will hold special significance to young sports players, as 70% of those surveyed believed that youth team sports were not safe for LGBT people and 87% of young LGBT sportspeople said they were at least partially in the closet with teammates to keep themselves safe.

“I continue to be amazed at out gay people's experiences in rugby and other sports, which either meant they stopped playing early or never really fully engaged in sport,” says equality in sport advocate Andrew Purchas.

“By wearing Rainbow Laces, Athletes are helping us say #KnotMe to homophobia in sport.”

#RainbowLaces are now available free to community sporting organisations by heading to You can also buy them from participating Rebel and Amart Sports stores while all stocks last. All proceeds will be donated to Pride in Diversity.