Rugby Team To Wear Rainbow Shoelaces

November 1, 2018

The Irish Legends rugby team are set to wear rainbow shoelaces during the upcoming World Rugby Classic, with an aim to “send a message of equality, sportsmanship and inclusion especially meaningful to OUTBermuda and Bermuda’s LGBTQ families and citizens.”

“By taking this action at one of Bermuda’s most popular sporting competition, World Rugby Classic, Irish Legends and the Bermuda Rugby Football Union join with OUTBermuda to send the world the message that rugby is an inclusive sport which has at its heart character-building values of passion, integrity, solidarity, respect and discipline – for all,” a spokesperson said.

“In just a few days, the world’s attention comes home again to Bermuda to toast the 30th anniversary of the World Rugby Classic – and to celebrate equality and inclusion on and off the field.

“Since 1988, the top names in international rugby have headed to Bermuda for the World Rugby Classic, one of the most exciting events on Bermuda’s sports calendar. Thousands of fans from Bermuda and around the world once again enjoy a week of great international rugby, social events and an atmosphere unique in the game.

“The difference this year? For the first time, the Irish Legends rugby team will wear rainbow shoelaces to send a message of equality, sportsmanship and inclusion especially meaningful to OUTBermuda and Bermuda’s LGBTQ families and citizens.”

Speaking for OUTBermuda, Adrian Hartnett-Beasley said, “Growing up, there should be no barrier to sports based on your sexual orientation – every person belongs in the game, including every LGBTQ child and family. We are honored to partner with the World Rugby Classic to involve everyone in support of LGBTQ equality.

“Personally, as someone who grew up playing rugby in Bermuda and in youth exhibitions at the Classic, I’m thrilled as an out gay Bermudian that diversity and inclusion are being further recognized and affirmed in Bermuda. Lacing up may seem a small thing to do, yet this has a lasting impact for every sports fan and every player. If just one person is positively affected by this initiative, then it has been successful.”

Ronan Kane, Events Director, World Rugby Classic, said: “Rugby is a uniquely welcoming sport. In no other sport will you see a 160-pound person attempting to tackle a 260-pound person! It is a sport for all shapes and sizes and one that recognizes diversity and promotes inclusion.

“The World Rugby Classic is proud to support the LGBTQ movement and firmly believes that everyone is created equal, whether they weigh 160 pounds or 260 pounds, whether they are straight or gay and regardless of race or gender. The spirit of rugby encourages a more equal society for everyone in Bermuda and around the world.”

An Irish Legends representative added, “Every athlete should compete knowing their chances soar when they bring their full self to the game. If these shoe laces inspire hope and change some hearts and minds, then even simple shoe laces are a victory for human rights and acceptance.”

Sean Field-Lament, President of the Bermuda Rugby Football Union, pledged the enthusiastic support of the BRFU too, by adding, “The BRFU is committed to supporting initiatives that reduce bullying, promote diversity and inclusivity.

“The sport of Rugby is open and welcoming to all, including those in the LGBTQ community. We applaud the work being undertaken by OUTBermuda and look forward to seeing the rainbow laces on the field and collaborating with them in the future.”

The World Rugby Classic has been hosted by Bermuda annually since 1988, attracting some of rugby’s most famous players to our shores. Teams from twelve countries have battled it out for the crystal rugby ball trophy for over thirty years.

The 2018 event runs from November 4th – 10th and the tournament schedule and more information can be found online at Tickets may be purchased from

click here banner World Rugby Classic

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Comments (18)

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  1. whale watcher says:

    Great to see rugby leading the way again with it programs of inclusion, and anti bullying its Beyond Rugby program has been a revelation with how it reaches our young men and women. So its good to see a further representation of the messages that the sport teaches. Would be good to see all of the rugby clubs support this cause and maybe be joined by sports like football, basketball and cricket in having a day where all of the players are encouraged to represent by sporting rainbow laces for a day.

  2. facts of the rock says:

    NEVER argue with a Rugby Player!

  3. sage says:

    Aren’t the BPS going to ‘save lives’ with their roadside sobriety checkpoints? This event starts in less than 5 days, has the required notice been made?

    • Watcher says:

      The event also funds for a week so you may find that it will be targeted over its busiest nights from mid week till the weekend. Rather than one day this weekend.

    • LWR says:


    • Pay attention says:

      Yes, the required notice has been made. In fact there are going to be checkpoints Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday next week which is more days than normal.

      • sage says:

        I can’t find any notices on or the news paper. Where will they be conducted, St Georges and Dockyard? What about monday to wednesday?

  4. Lot. says:

    Another group encouraging and condoning Homosexual behaviour! Smh ! The world as we know it must be coming to an end soon !

    • Mike Hind says:

      Nah. People are just growing up and realizing that what two people do together… scratch that… what ANYONE else does!… is none of their business.

      Marriage Equality isnt going to cause the world to end.
      This drama queen pearl clutching isn’t helping anything.

    • End of the World not likely caused by the LGBT group says:

      but by delusional politicians that have an overinflated sense of their self importance and intelligence. Shake your head over that.

      Titty Milk for All!

    • PBanks says:

      Lot huh… aka the fella who got drunk and slept with his daughters

  5. Stop says:

    I for one will be boycotting the rugby because of this gay support statement! Why must I am my staff be subject to such a display. I hope others follow suit and stay away from the game!

    • sandgrownan says:

      You weren’t going anyway, and you won’t be missed.

  6. Real Deal says:

    ahh i see just like usa foot ball. penstate in these types of sports.

  7. Don't use these products! says:

    To all those folks in Bermuda that wish to surpress the rights of the LGBT community–best begin walking your talk by not using the products of the companies that have the guts to stand up to this sort of bigotry–good luck!

  8. Whale watcher says:

    Read the press release they are not promoting same sex marriage just inclusion and respect for those deemed as the other by a large part of our population. I see no issues with this and for those who are going to use the godly, bible reasoning of homosexuality being a sin, the bible also says adulterous behavior is a sin and those committing it should be put to death, I don’t see death squads rounding up the promiscuous on the island so spare me your selective Christianity. Either live be the Bible in a literal fashion or shut up and let folks live their life as god made them and they can face whatever maker there is when their journey is done. It’s not your place to judge.

  9. Charlly X says:

    Well I guess we should wear black and White laces to support justice and equality along with inclusion amongst people in Bermuda and the world over ? I’m jus sayn !

  10. Charlly X says:

    Great observations … We should wear black and white laces to support justice, equality and collectiveness amongst Bermudians!!!!!!!