Amal Fashanu, niece of former City player Justin Fashanu and founder of the charity she set up in her uncle’s memory, recently joined Darren Eadie and Danny Gray on episode two of ‘Challenging Stereotypes’ to discuss LGBT+ issues in football, in conjunction with War Paint for Men.
Justin was Britain’s first one-million-pound black footballer and had a career that spanned over 19 years. He was also Britain’s first openly gay professional footballer but sadly took his own life in 1998 after years of discrimination over his sexuality. In the three decades since, there has yet to be another professional footballer to follow suit.
Amal founded the Justin Fashanu Foundation to campaign against homophobia and racism in football and raise awareness around mental health issues in the sport.
The second episode of ‘Challenging Stereotypes’, a series between Norwich City Football Club and partners War Paint For Men, celebrates LGBT+ History Month and discusses how education and raising awareness can be a powerful force to make the game of football more inclusive. The half an hour discussion can be viewed below.
Discussing Norwich City’s involvement with the foundation, Amal said: “Norwich is very close to my heart, as is the football club which the foundation works most closely with. We have the ambassador scheme with the Norwich City academy involving peer-to-peer mentoring and it is great how we are working together.
“I think if football clubs like Norwich can talk about LGBT+, mental health and racism in football and come together, then slowly we will get to a place where everyone can play and feel happy in the sport.”
City legend Darren Eadie said: “Norwich continues to make positive steps and working with brands like War Paint to discuss important topics such as this is what Norwich City does.
“The work Amal is doing is fantastic and it’s great to see someone with her drive who is trying to break down barriers and make a real change.”
Founder of War Paint, Danny Gray, said: “I know lots of people have found this month of lockdown especially tough on their mental health, and for me, it makes these conversations even more important to have.
“I hope that hearing about the amazing work that Amal and the Justin Fashanu Foundation are doing, helps someone out there. Amal is honestly such an inspiring person and I’m so grateful she joined us for this episode”.