Representatives from Everton and the Club’s Technical Partner hummel have outlined their joint commitment to supporting and celebrating the LGBTI+ community at a conference to mark Copenhagen’s hosting of WorldPride.
Everton in the Community’s Primary Stars Programme Manager, Olivia Cardwell, Everton Equality and Human Rights Advisor, Sophie Cowell, and hummel’s Chief Brand Officer, Filip Trulsson, presented at the Sport Leader Conference, part of Copenhagen 2021’s EuroGames.
The trio discussed the Club and hummel’s LGBTI+ inclusion work, including the Rainbow Shirt campaign that saw Everton’s men’s and women’s teams wear specially-designed hummel warm-up shirts ahead of their respective matches last weekend.
The Everton presentation outlined the Club’s general equality, diversity and inclusion vision – including the objectives of its All Together Now campaign - before detailing specific initiatives that have tackled the issue of eradicating homophobia in society and promoted greater inclusion for all members of the LGBTI+ community.
“We were delighted to present at the Sport Leader Conference with Filip,” said Cowell. “It was a fantastic event and it was great to hear about the important work that is taking place in this area.
“We were pleased to be able to share our All Together Now campaign and the specific steps we are taking to promote LGBTI+ inclusion across the Everton Family and beyond, including our work with our staff, fans, community and partners. Our work with hummel on the rainbow shirts for Copenhagen 21 was very well received by Evertonians, and the wider football community as well.”
Everton’s All Together Now campaign was launched in December 2018 and saw the Club pledge to celebrate diversity and increase awareness of everything it does to create a ‘football family for everyone’ through fan, community and staff engagement.
Since then, the Blues have signed up as a 'Diversity Champion' of Stonewall, Europe's leading charity for lesbian, gay, bi and trans equality - becoming one of the first football clubs to do so.
Everton was also awarded the Premier League's Advanced Equality Standard - its highest accreditation - following an independent assessment of the Club's commitment to ensuring equality across all areas of its operation.
The warm-up shirts worn by Everton’s men’s and women’s players last weekend will be auctioned off, with the funds raised set to help Everton in the Community deliver LGBTI+ awareness sessions in primary and secondary schools across Merseyside.
“The funds will allow us to further promote equality, diversity and inclusion across our youth engagement programmes and build on the fantastic work we have already been doing in this area,” said Cardwell. “This campaign between Everton and hummel will allow us to carry on supporting our community with awareness raising workshops, youth lead social action projects and sports competitions - all promoting those vitally important messages of inclusion and celebrating diversity.”
The rainbow shirts campaign also saw Everton’s opponents, Southampton, and Danish side Brondby don their own versions of the t-shirts in recognition of the Copenhagen 2021 and EuroGames celebrations.
The rainbow shirts - a “mash-up” of all the flags recognised by the LGBTI+ community - were inspired by the overall theme of Copenhagen 2021 and its hashtag #YouAreIncluded.
“At hummel, we firmly believe that sport is something very special," said Filip. "It’s an equaliser that brings people together and especially in times of adversity, injustice, and crisis. In more ways the one, sport is the shared language across nationalities, religions and genders – so a foundation for inclusivity and positive change.
"Equally, it's no secret that forcing positive change is a team effort. And that's exactly why we'll keep teaming up with our key partners in sport to help drive change and create real impact for a better future. Simply, because we believe that as ONE team, we can change the world through sport."
Everton’s signed, player-worn rainbow shirts are listed for auction now at matchwornshirts.com, with fans able to bid for the men’s shirts until 2pm on 28 August and the women’s shirts until 2pm on 29 August. A Copenhagen 2021 range is also available at hummel.net.
A limited-edition release of Everton rainbow shirts on evertondirect.com sold out in less than 20 minutes.