Friday, September 29, 2023

‘Shameful, hurtful and devaluing’ – Mary Earps petition reaches 150k people as Nike row heads to parliament

Mary Earps’ shirt row will be heard in parliament after a petition reached was signed by almost 150,000 people.

The England goalkeeper is one of the country’s top footballers but had been in the headlines this week for Nike’s decision not to sell her goalkeeping jersey.

Earps’ case about her jersey not being sold will be heard in parliamentGetty

Earps was one of England’s top stars at the World Cup yet fans still can’t buy the jersey anywhereGetty

The 30-year-old was told her kit was not sold last summer for England’s Euros triumph due to manufacturing issues and that the issue would not happen again.

But despite Earps being one of the Lionesses’ top performers at the World Cup in Australia and Nike insisting that they’re ‘working towards a solution‘, that stance hasn’t changed with fans furious that they can buy an outfield top, but not the goalkeeper version.

As a result of the outrage, a petition was set up with the aim of surpassing 100,000 signatures – a total that means the case must be heard in parliament.

With almost 150,000 signatures at the time of writing, it means that Earps’ dispute with Nike will be heard on the biggest stage in the UK.

Tracey Crouch threw her support behind Earps’ case in her column for the Independent, writing: “The Lionesses kit for the Women’s World Cup is beautiful in so many ways and even though it is £80 a pop I am not surprised that they were flying off the shelves in the run-up to the final and even despite the defeat will continue to do so with the names of heroes on the back.

“Except of course if you happen to be a fan of Mary Earps also known as the Queen of Stops, the Fifa Women’s World Cup Golden Glove winner, our brave, strong, passionate England No 1.

“You cannot buy her shirt because Nike decided not to sell it. You can go and buy the England Men’s goalkeeper jersey if you wish but not the women’s; all those little girls that saw Mary, and immediately went out and got siblings, parents, best friends to start kicking balls at them while they dived around gardens and recs up and down the country, might as well be back in the 80s.

“Mary is right to consider it hurtful. She is right to feel demeaned. She is right to say it devalued the role of keeper. I would say no one on the executive board at Nike has ever run a grassroots girls club where it has often been nigh impossible to get a keeper.

The case will now be heard in parliament after a petition attracted 150,000 signatures and countingGetty

“They could have changed this. They still can if they take their fingers out of their tin ears and listen to the hundreds of thousands of women who have signed the petition, gone on social media, listened to the outcry on the media.

“There was nobody standing up in Parliament for girls like me, which is why I feel so strongly that I, and other colleagues, male or female, need to shout loudly about this for today’s women and girls who play football. This is why I have tabled an early day motion calling on Nike to put this right.”

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