The film will be free-to-air across Europe, from 18 July

We All Play

Rakuten TV has launched original documentary, We All Play, which focuses on the inclusion of the LGBTQIA+ community in sport.

It offers “an insightful and moving look at the transformative power of sport and the importance of creating truly inclusive spaces within the sporting community,” says Rakuten.

The documentary will be free to watch on Rakuten TV across Europe, from 18 July.

As background to the documentary, Rakuten says 20% of LGBTQIA+ people refrain from participating in sport due to their sexual orientation and/or gender identity.

In football, NBA, Tennis, NFL, Rugby, only a very small percentage of players openly declare being part of the LGBTQIA+ community, and, Rakuten believes, “most of time this invisibilisation is due to the stigma attached to this belonging – the fear of risk to their career, loss of sponsorship, bullying, publicity backlashes and impact on team dynamics or their fanbase.”

We All Play launches on Rakuten TV just before the start of the Paris 2024 Olympics. It shines a light on athletes who are speaking out, the communities that are supporting them in the fight on and off the sports field, and aims to combat prejudice, discrimination and promote inclusion in the world of sport.

The documentary focuses on elite athletes who, often for the first time, share their personal and professional experiences in an effort to fight against discrimination. These include:

  • Campbell Johnstone: Recognised as the first All Black rugby player to go public with his homosexuality, inspiring change both on and off the field.  
  • Lola Gallardo: Atletico Madrid’s openly lesbian football goalkeeper shares her experience of acceptance in the world of sport.  
  • Javier Raya: The figure skater, whose journey to acceptance has been an inspiration to many in the LGBTQIA+ community.  
  • Valentina Petrillo: The transgender athlete who challenges barriers in athletics, sharing her struggle and achievements in pursuit of inclusion.  
  • Liz Carmouche: The mixed martial arts fighter defying stereotypes, and opening doors for the LGBTQIA+ community.  
  • Michael Sam: The American football pioneer, who defied the norms by being the first openly gay player to be selected in an NFL draft.  
  • Víctor Gutiérrez: The water polo player and politician who became one of the first Spanish athletes to come out, leading the way to acceptance in the world of sport. 
  • Alejandra Jiménez: The Mexican boxer, whose story of triumph and struggle has inspired many in her community and beyond.  
  • Joanna Harper: The scientist and long-distance runner, whose work in the field of transgender sports has contributed significantly to the debate on inclusion and equity.
  • Amal Fashanu: Campaigner against homophobia in sport.

The documentary is directed by Spanish director Pablo de la Chica - winner of three Spanish Academy Awards (Goya Awards) for Blue & Malone: Casos imposibles (2021), Mamá (2022), and Aunque es de noche (2024).

It’s produced by Atlantika Films, Lacoproductora and Diario AS and with the participation of RTVE.

Daniel Gilgado, head of originals of Rakuten TV, said: “We are very proud to release We All Play. At Rakuten TV we are committed to making our Originals branded entertainment content, which is able to spread our company values of empowerment, innovation and diversity. This documentary is an excellent example of how a film can promote a change, and it is a further milestone in our editorial line after the release of inspiring stories of diversity in highly stereotyped fields, such as women in football or motorcycle racing.”

Fabiana Cumia, PR & ESG director of Rakuten TV, added: “People are what they are behind their sex, gender, sexual orientation, or any diversity, and accepting and fostering diversity and inclusion is key to letting them flourish, to leave no one excluded and to live in a fair and sustainable society. In order to overcome the biases and stigmas that separate us from this goal, we also need to create diverse models: to this end, films have a crucial responsibility in the content they convey. At Rakuten TV, we are doing our small part to make the entertainment industry more inclusive. The content we produce and distribute inspires over 150 million households across Europe: this is why we are committed to promoting storytelling which reflects the society in its complexity, and increasingly put our spotlight on DEI and social impact to inspire a positive and sustainable change.”