JD Sports has removed a provocative picture of a woman wearing a Scotland jersey after a father complained.
The image on the company’s website showed a woman in jeans with rips on the thighs sitting with her legs apart while photos advertising male kits displayed men and boys in athletic wear.
Simon Kemp spotted the discrepancy while preparing to buy gear for his children and raised the issue with the Scottish Football Association (SFA) and JD Sports, the official Scotland strip retailer.
— Simon Kemp (@skempleton) February 4, 2019
Another thing. You have men’s, women’s and boys’ kit. Not girls’. Message is football is just for boys, and that’s not aligned to @scottishfa aims of encouraging more girls to play. If junior kits are unisex, call them “children’s” and have female models beside boys. @JDSports
— Simon Kemp (@skempleton) February 6, 2019
The SFA asked JD Sports to remove the image which it did and both apologized for causing any upset.
Mr Kemp took to social media to highlight the issue, tweeting: “@ScottishFA Looking forward to taking my kids to the Women’s World Cup and thought I would buy new shirts for us all.
“So please explain why the official seller @JDSports has presented the boys and men as athletes, yet the female model is more “traditional” #everydaysexism.”
“@ScottishFA And by the way, my daughter plays football too, as do thousands of girls. What kind of example does this set for them? @JDSports”
After the images were changed he tweeted:
“I’d like to think we made the world a slightly better place this morning.”
JD Sports have replaced the image with a conventional sportswear style picture of a woman wearing the kit.
An SFA spokesman said:
“We apologize for any offense that this image caused. As soon as this was brought to our attention we contacted JD Sports to request its removal, which JD Sports immediately acted upon.
“At the Scottish FA, we are absolutely committed to further strengthening equality and diversity in Scottish football and promoting the girls’ and women’s game across the nation.”
JD Sports apologized for any upset caused.
A spokesman said:
“We occasionally test alternative product styles online to appeal to the full range of customers who visit our site, from those interested in high fashion and athleisure, to sportspeople and football fans looking for kits and training equipment.”
“While the principle images used for this product online were modeled in the traditional sportswear style, an alternative fashion-led image was tested for a short time. Following comments from one customer and discussions with the Scottish FA, this image has been removed.
“The product is now only displayed on our sales channels in the traditional style, and our photography guidelines have been reviewed to ensure this doesn’t happen again.
“We remain committed to promoting and supporting the Scotland Women’s teams in the build-up to the FIFA Women’s World Cup this summer, and apologize for any upset this has caused.”
Many praised Kemp for pointing out the discrepancy.
— Jo S (@sockeyejo) February 7, 2019
Good for you Simon, have to confront this stuff every time ????
— Jon S ???????? (@JonnyS72) February 7, 2019
That's because we've been desensitised to this stuff, mate. It's everywhere. Women are presented as ornaments. And in this context, it should be women as serious sportspeople, especially as role models.
— Simon Kemp (@skempleton) February 7, 2019
I agree with you Simon. The different treatment of the woman vs the man and the child speaks volumes.
— KilburnTowers (@RobinSetty) February 7, 2019
Proud of you Simon!
— Richard Dodd (@RDoddAuthor) February 7, 2019
Love this, thank you for speaking out! All those making stupid comments about this “not being a big deal” are a massive part of the problem. It is not okay to sexualise women in this way (or men had it have been vice versa!) and it is a big deal!
— Tracey (@Error_206) February 7, 2019
However, some still refused to acknowledge the nuances of sexism.
FFS. You see more flesh when someone is wearing shorts. This kind of response does the opposite of what it's intent is. With such offence taken for a harmless picture, you do a disservice to actual equal opportunity issues which need addressing.
— Pensive (@pensive_thinkr) February 7, 2019
???????????? you absolute bell. Worlds officially gone mad
— Tom Brown (@tombrown_7) February 7, 2019
You're everything that's wrong with the world
— georgi porgi (@georgewalker18) February 7, 2019
But hopefully, as more people like Kemp begin to point these things out, more will be willing to listen and acknowledge.