Mary Earps petition calling for Nike to sell Man Utd ‘keeper’s Lionesses shirt passes 80,000 signatures

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The Manchester United star was named the best goalkeeper at the Women's World Cup - but you can't buy her shirt.

A petition demanding Nike sell Mary Earps’ England goalkeeper’s shirt has passed 80,000 signatures.

The sportswear giant has come under fierce criticism for not putting it on sale - including from Earps herself ahead of a World Cup that helped continue the sharp rise in popularity of the women’s game.

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Now, with the Lionesses agonisingly losing 1-0 to Spain in the final and the Manchester United goalkeeper winning the Golden Glove award for best ‘keeper at the tournament, the pressure is mounting on Nike.

The ‘Stand with us in support of Mary Earps and all female goalkeepers around the world!’ petition has 84,500 signatures at the time of writing. Social media has also been flooded with people making their own ‘Earps 1’ jerseys while several influential figures having spoken out against Nike’s stance.

What does the petition say?

Set up by a user called Emmy Louisa on change.org, it states: "We need to unite, and demand this decision is over turned. We need to show togetherness and support Mary and ask Nike to rethink their decision. Let’s make them see just how important our female goalkeepers are. How respected they are and how many young girls aspire to join them in the future. Any type of exclusion is unacceptable in this day and age and we need to show we will not stand for it. Mary and all female goalkeepers, we love and respect you. You are inspirational and we are behind you."

What did Mary Earps say? 

Ahead of the tournament the United keeper said: “I can’t sugar-coat this in any way, so I am not going to try - it is hugely disappointing and very hurtful. I’ve been desperately trying to find a solution with the Football Association and Nike. Unfortunately, it’s become very evident that it is not possible and there’s not going to be an acceptable solution for the young kids out there.”

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What have Nike said?

A spokesperson for Nike said in a statement released after the tournament: “Nike is committed to women’s football and we’re excited by the passion around this year’s tournament and the incredible win by the Lionesses to make it into the final.

“We are proudly offering the best of Nike innovation and services to our federation partners and hundreds of athletes. 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 testament to the continued passion and energy around the women’s game and we believe that’s encouraging.”

What have other people said?

BBC broadcaster Gabby Logan said: “She will have inspired so many little girls to go out and try and be a keeper in the back garden. Let’s hope that one day they can go and buy her shirts, Alex (speaking to Alex Scott), as well. That’s the next move.”

Earps' Lionesses team-mate Beth Mead, who missed the tournament through injury, said: "Like Mary said, are they saying that a goalkeeper's not important, because what Mary did within that tournament and the last tournament has been incredible. She's the best in the world, right now, and she doesn't have a jersey, she doesn't have a shirt that young boys and girls can buy. Does that mean a goalkeeper's not important? No. No1 to No23, the staff behind the scenes, everyone is important and that should be out there for Mary and I'm glad she spoke up about it."

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