A teenager who petitioned Nike to sell Mary Earps replica shirts has appeared on TV show Lorraine today to discuss the sportswear giant’s U-turn.
Manchester United goalkeeper Mary Earps scooped the Golden Glove Award at the World Cup thanks to her heroics during England’s final against Spain, when she saved Jennifer Hermoso’s penalty. Spain went onto win 1-0.
But following the final, Nike, which had already revealed it would not be selling her replica kit ahead of the tournament – in a move branded ‘hurtful’ by the England vice-captain – released a statement saying it was ‘working towards solutions for future tournaments’ when it comes to selling goalkeeper replica kits.
However, now the sportswear giant has revealed it will has a ‘limited’ quantity of the strips for sale, pleasing Mary Earps fan Emmy Somauroo from Northamptonshire, who set up a petition in July calling on Nike to sell the strip – garnering more than 152,000 signatures for her efforts.
Now that the sportswear company says it will supply some retail stock, Emmy told Lorraine that she ‘had to do something’, which is why she started the petition.
Mary Earps fan Emmy Somauroo (pictured) appeared on Lorraine today to discuss Nike’s U-turn over selling goalkeeper replica strips
Emmy explained: ‘I think after we read the article [in which] Mary spoke…about how upset she felt herself…we felt like we had to do something.’
She added: ‘I like to show as much appreciation and support to the players who are making the women’s game what it is today, and to think that Mary wasn’t able to see our support, without her fans in the stands wearing her shirt…made me upset to think she’s felt left out.’
Emmy said she wanted to do something so she could ‘show how everyone’s so proud of’ of Mary’s achievements.
According to Emmy, who successfully campaigned against her school to let her play football, Mary has inspired her to be ‘unapologetically herself’.
Speaking about what she’d like to see happening next, following Nike’s U-turn, Emmy said ‘an apology for Mary would be nice’ but she added that she also just wants to see people come together to show support for the players in general – ‘not just Mary but all female goalkeepers’.
During the interview, Emmy’s mother also revealed that they had never thought the petition would garner the attention or support that it did.
In its statement released yesterday (Thursday) announcing it would sell the kit, Nike said: ‘Nike has secured limited quantities of goalkeeper jerseys for England, US, France, and the Netherlands to be sold through the federation websites over the coming days, and we are also in conversations with our other federation partners.
‘We recognise that during the tournament we didn’t serve those fans who wished to show their passion and support to the squad’s goalkeepers.
Manchester United goalkeeper Mary Earps (pictured) scooped the Golden Glove Award at the World Cup thanks to her heroics during England’s final against Spain, when she saved Jennifer Hermoso’s penalty
‘We are committed to retailing women’s goalkeeping jerseys for major tournaments in the future.’
The decision follows several months of arguing over the lack of retail kit.
Ahead of the World Cup, Lioness vice-captain Mary expressed her dismay over the ‘very hurtful’ decision not to put her replica shirt on sale ahead of the tournament.
Fans were unable to buy Earps’ kit during last summer’s Euros but the shot-stopper had been told the issue would be resolved ahead of the World Cup.
Earps was left ‘hugely disappointed’ when she found out her shirt would once again not be available.
She raised the issue with Nike and even offered to fund the production herself but was told this would not be possible.
According to Emmy’s mother speaking on Lorraine today (pictured, right) they never thought the petition would garner so much support
‘I can’t really sugarcoat this any way so I’m not going to try, it’s hugely disappointing and very hurtful,’ Earps said at England’s Brisbane hotel last month.
‘For my own family, friends and loved ones not to be able to buy my shirt, they’re just going to come out and wear normal clothes. All my team-mates, they’ve ordered a lot of shirts for their friends and family, they’re talking at the dinner table “I wasn’t able to get this” and I’m saying “I wasn’t able to get it at all”.
‘I know there’s a lot of people who have spent a tremendous amount of money on outfield shirts and then put ‘1 Earps’ on the back, which doesn’t sit well with me either.
‘It’s a very scary message that’s being sent to goalkeepers worldwide that “you’re not important”.
‘It’s something that I’ve been fighting behind closed doors. I’ve been desperately trying to find a solution with the FA and with Nike.’