England women’s football captain comes out

Besi Besemar February 11, 2014

“How can I expect other people to speak about themselves if I’m not willing to do that myself?”

Casey Stoney
Casey Stoney

Casey Stoney, the Arsenal Ladies defender told BBC sport that she made her decision following the positive public reaction to olympic diver Tom Daley coming out last month.

She said that while she no longer wanted to live a lie her sexuality was always know and accepted in footballing circles.

She added: “I feel it’s really important for me to speak out as a gay player because there are so many people struggling who are gay, and you hear about people taking their own lives because they are homosexual. That should never happen.

“How can I expect other people to speak about themselves if I’m not willing to do that myself?”

Casey thinks world governing body Fifa set the wrong example by awarding the World Cup to Russia and Qatar.

She said: “I won’t be going to Russia or Qatar to watch a World Cup because I wouldn’t be accepted there.” 

“I think it’s incredible that these countries get World Cups and Olympics when they don’t accept everybody to go there and be part of it. There will be [Olympic] athletes competing out [in Russia] who are gay. I can’t imagine how frightened they must feel going out there and competing.

“When Russian President Vladimir Putin says that gay people can come over but please don’t go near the children, what sort of message is that sending if he is that uneducated and he’s ruling that country? It seriously worries me.

“It’s about educating the people at the top, all the way down.

Simon Smith a spokesperson for the Gay Football Supports Network, said: “The GFSN sends our best wishes to Casey Stoney on publicly coming out. The subject of homophobia in football is rapidly evolving and while we look forward to the day when a player’s sexuality is not an issue it’s encouraging that more and more are feeling comfortable in being open about it.”