Nike to finally sell Mary Earps goalkeeper shirt after fury from Lionesses fans
Nike is making a limited number of Mary Earps shirts available to buy after massive backlash to its decision not to sell replica England goalkeeper jerseys with her name and number on.
Since the Women’s World Cup kicked off in July – with England’s Lionesses making it to the final, where they were beaten by Spain – fans have expressed outrage that Earps’ shirt was unavailable to buy, despite Nike making home and away strips for every other player.
The sports retailer was even criticised by Earps herself, who said it was “hugely disappointing” that fans couldn’t buy her jersey.
After several weeks of backlash, Nike will now be creating a “limited number” of Mary Earps goalkeeper shirts for fans.
The sportswear giant told PinkNews that it is “committed retailing women’s goalkeeping jerseys for major tournaments in the future”.
“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,” the retailer said in a statement to PinkNews, though it did not confirm when the shirts will be on sale.
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“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.
“We are committed to retailing women’s goalkeeping jerseys for major tournaments in the future.”
Nike added that it shared fans’ “unprecedented passion” for women’s football this year.
Ahead of the 2023 World Cup, Earps explained that it was “hurtful” to find out that goalkeeper shirts weren’t made available, after England captain Millie Bright had wanted to buy one for her niece.
“I can’t really sugar-coat this in any way, so I am not going to try,” Earps told journalists in July. “It is hugely disappointing and very hurtful.
“It’s the young kids I am most concerned about. They are going to say: ‘Mum, dad, can I have a Mary Earps shirt?’ and they say, ‘I can’t, but I can get you an Alessia Russo 23 or a Rachel Daly 9’.
“What you are saying is that goalkeeping isn’t important, but you can be a striker if you want.”
Earps was named the world’s best women’s goalkeeper at last year’s Best FIFA Football Awards, and won the FIFA Golden Glove Award following her performances in this year’s World Cup.
A petition to have the kit made available has amassed more than 150,000 signatures, with the creator explaining “any type of exclusion is unacceptable in this day and age and we need to show we will not stand for it”.
Record label Alcopop! was praised for releasing its own version of Earps’ kit, telling PinkNews that it was “disgusting” that the goalie’s jersey wasn’t initially made for sale.
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