Sunday, 3 Mar 2024

Lioness Jess Carter proud of hero goalie Mary Earps after Nike U-turn

Lioness Jess Carter says she is ‘really proud’ of outspoken hero goalie Mary Earps after Nike U-turned and bowed to her demand to release replica shirts for all her new fans

  • Jess Carter hails World Cup Golden Glove Mary winner Earps as an ‘inspiration’
  • It comes after a petition forced Nike to U-turn and produce copies of her kit  

Lioness Jess Carter has said she is ‘really proud’ of outspoken hero goalie Mary Earps after Nike U-turned and agreed to finally release a replica shirt for her new fans.  

Carter hailed Golden Glove winner Earps as an ‘inspiration’ to women and young girls after bosses at the fashion giant finally caved in to public pressure to produce copies of the 30-year-old Women’s World Cup star’s jersey. 

Manchester United keeper Earps won an army of new supporters after her heroics during England’s final against Spain, which saw her saving Jennifer Hermoso’s penalty to keep the Lionesses in the fight. Spain went onto win 1-0.

But scores were left fuming after Nike claimed it would not be releasing any copies of her kit – with a teenager’s petition demanding an urgent rethink, backed by a staggering 161,000 people, prompting an about-face by fashion bosses. 

Now England defender Carter, 25, has said she is delighted with the decision – as she praised her teammate and other campaigners for digging their heels in. 

England defender Jess Carter says she is ‘really proud’ of outspoken hero goalie Mary Earps after Nike U-turned and bowed to her demand to release replica shirts for all her new fans

Carter, right, celebrates with keeper Earps (left) during the England’s clash against Australia in the Women’s World Cup 

The defender hailed keeper Mary Earps and ‘inspiration’ for digging her heels in over Nike’s decision not to produce copies of the hero goalie’s World Cup kit (Carter is pictured with Earps in the World Cup final against Spain)

I’m really proud of Mary for doing that because it’s so easy to be silenced. For other people it might just be a goalkeeper jersey; it’s not the most favourable position out of all the positions,’ Carter told Sky News.  

‘But she’s really stood by something she is so passionate about. She is inspiring so many other people to stand up for what they also believe in.

READ MORE: Lioness Mary Earps’ Nike shirt could resell for DOUBLE its original price as only ‘limited quantities’ will be released

‘Knowing how hard she’s worked to get where she is and for the fact that her family couldn’t wear her jersey because Nike didn’t want to create one… or how all those little girls wanted to be Mary Earps [but] they couldn’t because they didn’t have a jersey.

‘So, I’m really happy for her and other goalkeepers out there to get a little more recognition. It just goes to show that when you stand by what you believe in, you can get positive outcomes.’

Nike had revealed it would not be selling Earps’ kit ahead of the World Cup, in April. But the decision triggered outrage, with England’s vice-captain Earps branding the move ‘hurtful’. 

Following the final of the World Cup, Nike said 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 have 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 161,000 signatures for her efforts.

Speaking about the decision, Emmy told Lorraine Kelly 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

‘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,’ the teenager said. 

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 teenager, 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.’

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