Man Utd boss Casey Stoney praises Rainbow Laces campaign

Casey Stoney says sport saved her life as she struggled to come to terms with her sexuality; Manchester United and rest of WSL will wear rainbow laces over the next two weeks as part of the Stonewall campaign; Sky Sports supporting as part of TeamPride

Casey Stoney, Man Utd Women's manager
Image: Manchester United boss Casey Stoney has shown her support for the Rainbow Laces campaign

Manchester United manager Casey Stoney has praised the the Rainbow Laces campaign for raising "visibility and awareness" around LGBT+ inclusion in sport.

United and the rest of the WSL will wear rainbow laces over the next two weeks to show their support for the campaign, which was first launched by Stonewall in 2013.

Former Arsenal and England captain Stoney, who came out in 2014, also said that sport saved her life as she came to terms with her sexuality.

BRIGHTON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 08: The Amex Stadium of Brighton and Hove Albion in support of Rainbow Laces and stonewall during the Premier League match between Brighton & Hove Albion and Wolverhampton Wanderers at American Express Community Stadium on December 8, 2019 in Brighton, United Kingdom. (Photo by Sam Bagnall - AMA/Getty Images)
Image: The rainbow mosaic at last season's Brighton vs Wolves fixture in the Premier League was one of the most memorable moments from the 2019 Rainbow Laces campaign

"It's about visibility and awareness isn't it," said Stoney when asked about the Rainbow Laces campaign.

"I don't hide away from the fact that it massively impacts on my life and has done for many years.

"There have been moments in my life where sport has actually saved my life because you can struggle with sexuality.

"I hate the word acceptance, because it shouldn't be about acceptance. It should be about normalising love is love and it shouldn't be anything other than that. Campaigns like this they raise visibility, they raise awareness and it's important.

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"Living online now is probably even more difficult as a gay person because of the amount people can say to you and the things you can read.

"So actually being able to come away from technology and play sport to just be yourself in a changing room and be valued for what you do in your job and not have a concern about what you do away from your job, I think is key."

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.

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