The Women's Football Show: Rainbow Laces puts focus on inclusivity and comparisons between men's and women's games

Jess Creighton and Sue Smith are joined by Annette Nelson from Football v Homophobia, plus Northern Ireland's Marissa Callaghan and Simone Magill and former US defender Danielle Slaton; watch The Women's Football Show at 8:30pm on Friday on Sky Sports Football

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Sue Smith says the dressing room is a 'safe place' for gay players in the women's game and hopes it would be the same for male players - watch The Women's Football Show on Friday, on Sky Sports Football at 8:30pm

The Women's Football Show returns on Friday night on Sky Sports Football with comparisons between the men's and women's games, the US side's bid for equality and Northern Ireland's amazing progress all topics for debate.

Football v Homophobia's Education Lead Annette Nelson - who won the inaugural LGBT Award on the annual Football Black List honours last week - joins the show to discuss the progress towards inclusivity in the game and the challenges in both men's and women's football.

The WSL will carry Rainbow Laces visibility over the next two weeks to show their support for the Stonewall campaign, which is backed by Sky Sports as a member of TeamPride, as it returns for its annual activation raising awareness around LGBT+ inclusion in sport.

Former England international Sue Smith shares her insight into the support lesbian, gay and bi players in the women's game are offered in the dressing room - describing it as a "safe place" - and says she hopes it would be the same for male players.

She said: "I can obviously only talk about my experience in the women's game and in that, I feel that the dressing room is a safe place to be. They're your team-mates, they're your friends - you all support each other.

The Women's Football Show

"The fact is that the media is very much focusing on 'when are we going to get the first male Premier League footballer coming out as gay?' That's hard because who's going to be that first person?

"There's going to be so much spotlight on that person. It then creates a difficulty in that person wanting to do that and feeling comfortable.

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Smith says she's saddened by research from Stonewall which found that 43 per cent of LGBTQ+ people don't feel welcome at public sporting events
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"But from my experiences in the women's game, the dressing room is a safe place and you all look after each other. You'd like to think it's the same in the men's game."

Also on the show, Smith and host Jess Creighton are joined by Northern Ireland captain Marissa Callaghan and forward Simone Magill after they helped to secure a historic Euro 2022 play-off berth for their country.

And former USA international Danielle Slaton gives the lowdown on the US Women's team's agreement with their federation over working conditions following a long-running dispute - as well as their continued battle for equal pay.

Rainbow Laces 2020: LGBT+ inclusion in sport campaign returns

The award-winning Rainbow Laces campaign, which is backed by Sky Sports as a member of TeamPride, is returning for its annual activation raising awareness around LGBT+ inclusion in sport.

As well as the original rainbow design which was first launched back in 2013, supporters of the campaign will now be able to lace up to celebrate specific identities under the LGBT+ umbrella, including the lesbian, bi, pan, ace, trans and non-binary flags.

The new designs are part of a relaunch for 2020 as the initiative puts an emphasis on the importance of allyship and inclusive communities, with the continuing objective to make sport everyone's game.

Watch The Women's Football Show on Friday from 8:30pm on Sky Sports Football.

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