Hector Bellerin has backed the Rainbow Laces campaign and Arsenal’s support of it ahead of this weeks events.
While a small number of players have been open about their sexuality – usually after their playing days are over – homosexuality remains something of a taboo within football.
The nature of fan and terrace culture has changed, but as yet we haven’t had a high profile player come out during their career.
Bellerin has called on the game to do do more to support those who might wish to be open during their playing days, and praised the club for their continued backing minority groups, those with different cultural backgrounds, and more.
“It’s such an important initiative because we need to raise awareness and we need to support our LGBT community to be accepted and I think there’s no better advocates to do that than us, the players, the coaches and the staff,” he told the official website.
“The whole league in general has to get together to support Rainbow Laces, it’s so important for everyone to get together on this.
“I feel like in football, we’re a few years behind in terms of these kind of issues.”
As for Arsenal’s stance on such matters, the full-back was full of praise.
“I think it’s amazing that Arsenal, as a club, always take it into their hands to support,” he continued.
“Not just LGBT people but also minorities and people from other cultures and backgrounds, as well as people with disabilities in terms of just being accepted into society.
“Arsenal is a club that helps to make everyone feel like they are part of the same family and as players, it’s our duty to do the same.
“I am very proud to be part of a club that just accepts everyone to be a part of this big family.”
Year on year initiatives like this and support from players like Hector and clubs like Arsenal help chip away at prejudices which may be learned, ingrained through upbringing, or cultural.
We all understand that discrimination of somebody because of their race, their skin colour, or their religion is unacceptable, and the same goes for someone’s sexuality.
Just let people love who they want without judgement, fear of persecution or violence, and without discrimination on or off the pitch.