Southampton Football Club has teamed up with its Official Kit Supplier, hummel, to collaborate on a specially designed rainbow shirt to raise awareness for inclusivity in sport.
The rainbow shirts will be worn by the first team squad as they warm up ahead of Saturday’s game against Everton, kick-off at 3pm, to show support for the LGBTQ+ community and help to fight discrimination in football.
Supporters can purchase the limited edition shirts from the online Saints Store ahead of the match worn shirts being auctioned off following Saturday's game.
hummel launched the collaboration with Saints, alongside Everton and Danish side Brøndby IF, to celebrate the LGBTQ+ community as part of Copenhagen 2021 World Pride and the EuroGames taking place in the company’s home country of Denmark.
More than one in five LGBTQ+ people have experienced homophobia or transphobia, while a report from Kick It Out has revealed that reports of abuse based on sexual orientation in professional football have increased by 95% in the past year.
Allan Vad Nielsen, hummel’s CEO said: "It requires a solid team effort to create positive change in sport and beyond, and that’s why we are extremely proud to spread the message of openness in the world of sports by combining three of our biggest football sponsorships with our Copenhagen 2021 sponsorship.”
The new rainbow warm-up shirt is designed as a mash-up of all flags recognised by the LGBTQ+ community and underpins #YouAreIncluded, which is the overall theme of Copenhagen 2021.
"Football and sport are for everyone, and it is important that we stand together in the balance. Over the past years we’ve supported several projects to promote inclusion in sports and we intend to continue to do so,” said Allan Vad Nielsen.
“Sport has a unique ability to connect people across nationalities, religions, cultures, and genders, and with this new rainbow design we want to bring together coaches, players, and fans from different clubs. Simply because we believe that we can only make a difference if we stand together as one team,”
Southampton’s Director of Marketing and Partnerships, Sarah Batters, said: “At Southampton Football Club we strive to make football an inclusive environment for everyone and we recognise that there is work to be done to champion the LGBTQ+ community and eliminate discrimination.
“We’re proud to stand alongside our partner, hummel, in the fight for inclusivity in football by sending a message that homophobia and transphobia has no place in our game.”
The rainbow shirts will be auctioned off to raise money for Saints Foundation following Saturday’s fixture.