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
Thursday 3 December 2020 19:07, UK
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.
"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.
"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."
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.