EE Hope United has unveiled a new squad assembled of high profile footballers from the men’s and women’s game in a bid to tackle online sexist hate ahead of Euro 2022.
Hope United player Lucy Bronze has urged men to be allies of women’s football this summer, while Hope United manager Gareth Southgate insists that men ‘can do better’.
The likes of Trent Alexander-Arnold, Ellen White, Jordan Henderson, Caroline Weir, Andy Robertson, Declan Rice, Demi Stokes and more have joined the squad alongside Bronze and Southgate to spread #NotHerProblem. Rio Ferdinand and Rachel Brown-Finnis will also serve as coaches.
A recent YouGov survey commissioned by EE found that 52% of the UK public do not feel the internet is a safe space for women, with 60% feeling that not enough is done to tackle online or offline misogyny. Indeed, nearly half (46%) who have witnessed or experienced online sexism have admitted to not doing anything about it.
“As women footballers, the sad truth is that we now expect sexist abuse on a near daily basis: it has not only become an inescapable part of the game, but of a woman’s life in the public eye,” Bronze said.
“But it shouldn’t be this way. This is why we are asking men to be allies of women this summer and help stamp out sexism online. It’s great to see so many from the men’s game join the squad: it gives me confidence that we can make a difference.”
Southgate added, “The simple fact is that men can do better. Sexism and misogyny are deplorable in any space and EE’s Hope United will make men aware that they are uniquely positioned to help bring it to an end: not only by monitoring their own behaviour but that of others and, when possible, calling it out and putting a stop to it.”
The EE Hope United squad will feature in a video content series sharing digital skills; free online resources that will educate on how to challenge and report online hate against women. The topics covered will include: how to block accounts, report online hate, mute and filter offensive content and how to diversify your social media feed by following more female voices.
The new campaign is a continuation of the Hope United campaign launched in 2021 ahead of the men’s European Championship tournament and aims to tackle all forms of online hate though support for change and educating the nation.
For more information on Hope United, visit ee.co.uk/hopeunited