England Women's star Casey Stoney has spoken out about the fight against homophobia in football in an exclusive interview with TheFA.com.
The defender has shown her support for The FA’s new season drive to encourage fans and players to report discrimination. Casey, who came out in February this year, is a key voice in the fight against discrimination.
“I have received massive support by The FA and my club since coming out,” she said.
“I had thousands of tweets in support too from fans. Coming out has made me feel more comfortable, happy and it’s showing in my performances.”
She added: “We've got a lot of work to do in terms of homophobia, to move the game forward. It’s all about educating - being gay isn't a choice it’s something that just happens. I realised when I was about 15 or 16 and I've lived my life accordingly since then.”
Players and clubs across the country will be backing the Rainbow Laces campaign this weekend. Stoney is a champion of initiatives like this, as well as the likes of Kick It Out and Football v Homophobia, and urges fans to keep their eye on the ball when it comes to reporting abuse.
“Campaigns like that raise the issue. It’s really important you report discrimination. If you don't how can we stop it from happening? You have to challenge behaviours because if you don't you can't stop it from continuing.”
Watch the interview in full below.