Every once in a while you read something which really sums up something at the forefront of your mind.
The Justin Campaign was set up to highlight the prejudices in football towards the LGBT community and show that, in its current form, the sport cannot truly claim to be the beautiful game.
Some are in denial over the homophobia in the game, others prefer to let abuse pass by. But it really does affect people, both players and fans, who love the sport.
One such example is Stephen Bickford, a United States U-18 player, who was 2004 NSCAA/Adidas National High School
Player of the Year and University of North
Carolina striker, all while living the life of a young man in the
Within a personal blog post for US website and campaign group gay4soccer, Stephen writes: "Scoring goals was my job, and it was also my favorite thing to do on this earth. Fortunately for me, the team I had playing behind me made my job a whole lot easier than it could have been, and I have to give them credit for getting me the ball as much as they did.
"One would think that my life couldn’t have been happier: playing for a fantastic team, winning trophies and scoring goals at will. What could I possibly be unhappy about? Well, I knew I was gay.
"Being gay and playing a team sport can be incredibly frightening. You live in constant fear of having your teammates find out your secret, and in constant terror of what the consequences will be."
The entire post, which was posted by US website gay4soccer, is well worth reading. In fact, we INSIST you do. Follow the link here.