We're happy to see that Mark Foster feels able to speak about his sexuality for the first time.
Coming out ‘publicly’ is very different to coming out to friends and family and it’s great that Mark has received amazing support and acceptance from those closest to him.
Everyone is entitled to a private life and no one should feel under pressure to come out – coming out is always an intensely personal and private decision.
However, it is the pressure and scrutiny sportspeople face that stops athletes like Mark speaking openly about their sexuality, as it still serves as front page news.
What we’ve learnt most from Rainbow Laces is that it will take more than athletes coming out to change the situation
As he says in his Guardian interview, Mark did not want to be ‘pushed’ to come out and wanted to do so ‘on his own terms.’
What we’ve learnt most from Rainbow Laces is that it will take more than athletes coming out to change the situation. It can’t rest on their shoulders alone. It will take fans, sports organisations, sponsors, the media – basically everyone involved in sport – to make sport everyone’s game.
We know that visible LGBT role models like Mark are incredibly important in all walks of life. They have the power to truly change hearts and minds.
We now need to see fans and anyone who loves sport – particularly those who aren’t LGBT - to come out and show their support and help create an inclusive culture.
Our focus should be on actively supporting, championing and promoting an inclusive culture for all LGBT people in sport.
If you love sport, mark this year’s Rainbow Laces week by coming out for LGBT people
We need to come together to challenge homophobic ‘banter’ and to condemn abusive and hurtful language.
We must let LGBT people working across all aspects of sport know that they are not alone and that we stand with them.
If you love sport, mark this year’s Rainbow Laces week by coming out for LGBT people.
Show your support this Wednesday by wearing some Rainbow Laces and help make sport everyone’s game.