Nike is facing increased demands to sell a Mary Earps shirt after the England player saved a penalty in the World Cup final and was named the tournament’s best goalkeeper.
Despite winning the Fifa award for best women’s goalkeeper last year, having conceded just two goals all tournament when England was crowned Euro 2022 champions, fans have been unable to buy her jersey, unlike those of her teammates.
After Earps burnished her already stellar reputation with an outstanding performance, including a penalty save, during England’s 1-0 defeat to Spain in Sunday’s final, the clamour for Nike to make her shirt available to buy intensified.
England supporters on social media hailed her performances throughout the tournament and called on the sporting goods company to honour her efforts by selling her shirt.
Typical of the messages was one posted by the former swimming world champion Karen Pickering, who wrote on Twitter, now known as X: “Loved seeing Mary Earps winning the Golden Glove. Can we buy her shirt yet???”
The former England men’s goalkeeper David Seaman posted: “Bet @Nike are regretting not selling the #maryearps shirt now”, accompanying his message with an eye-roll emoji.
Mary Creagh, a former Labour shadow minister, said: “Looking forward to @nike getting Mary Earps’ shirt ready for her with a massive slice of humble pie.”
Earps’ name was one of the top trending topics in the UK on X during and after Sunday’s match.
The goalkeeper has previously spoken of her dismay that fans cannot buy her England shirt, with the same situation occurring during the Euros.
In an interview on the eve of the World Cup, she described the omission as “hugely hurtful considering the last 12 months especially”. She said she had only found out about it when the outfield kit went on sale, and none of the promotional pictures of the goalkeepers were used as part of the campaign. She said she had even offered to pay for the shirts herself.
Earps shouted: “Fuck off” after saving Jennifer Hermoso’s penalty — the awarding of which was contentious –— and many on social media riffed on her reaction and the anger over Nike’s decision regarding the goalkeeping jersey.
Leisa Pickett posted on X: “Mary Earps, expressing what we all think of @Nike@nikefootball and their decision NOT to produce the England goalkeepers shirt.”
Similarly, Laura Greaves wrote above the clip of Earps’ reaction to the penalty save: “When @Nike didn’t make your shirt, but you just won the golden glove award for best goalkeeper at the World Cup.”
The Sky Sports presenter Kelly Cates also commented during a post-match analysis. “If that [scoreline] had turned around, there’d be a few kids looking for a Mary Earps shirt — won’t be able to find one, though,” she said.
A petition calling on Nike to change its stance on female goalkeepers’ shirts had attracted more than 65,000 signatures by Sunday afternoon.
A Nike spokesperson said: “We hear and understand the desire for a retail version of a goalkeeper jersey, and we are working towards solutions for future tournaments in partnership with Fifa and the federations. The fact that there’s a conversation on this topic is a testament to the continued passion and energy around the women’s game, and we believe that’s encouraging.”
by Haroon Siddique
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