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Manchester United announce partnership with LGBT charity Stonewall

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To widespread shock, Manchester United have announced a a partnership that isn't a sponsorship deal.

Israelis Take Part In The Annual Jerusalem Gay Parade Photo by Lior Mizrahi /Getty Images

Those of you in the UK will likely be familiar with the work of Stonewall, perhaps the UK's most prominent lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights charity. The organisation has been working with football clubs quite a lot over the last few season, most notably with the Rainbow Laces campaign, in attempt to push back against the intolerance still prevalent throughout much of British football.

Now, Stonewall and Manchester United entered into a formal partnership — the first such arrangement in the country, apparently — that will see United become a member of "TeamPride":

helping to form opinions, share best practice and influence behaviour by using the power of sport to harness the message of equality within the LGBT community and wider society.

The club's website carries quotes from various luminaries, including Ruth Hunt, Chief Executive of Stonewall, who reckons that

It’s crucial for organisations like Manchester United to show they not only welcome LGBT people, but are active in leading the change. At the moment, many LGBT people want to take part in sport, either as players or fans, but the behaviour of a minority can make them feel unsafe, unwelcome or unable to be themselves.

An unambiguous 'well done' to United for this, we reckon. How unusual to be able to say that.