Everton Rainbow shirts, designed by technical partner, hummel to mark Copenhagen 21 World Pride and Eurogames have raised £12,472 which will fund Everton in the Community’s LGBTI+ awareness workshops for primary and secondary age pupils.
The special rainbow warm-up shirt was produced for both Everton and Southampton players to wear during the pre-match warm-up of the 2021/22 season opening game.
Designed as a mash-up of all flags recognised by the LGBTI+ community, the shirts, also worn by Everton women during a pre-season friendly against Brighton, underpins #YouAreIncluded, which was the overall theme of Copenhagen 2021.
The match-worn training tops from both the First Team's and Women’s fixtures were set live on Matchwornshirt.com at kick off where bidders from around the world clamoured to get their hands on the limited edition.
The hugely popular design sold out in-store within a day and online within just 20 minutes.
Everton forward, Richarlison proved the most popular during the auction. His shirt shipped to Brazil, alongside Jordan Pickford’s goalkeeper shirt, raising £1,083 and £699 respectively while Dominic Calvert Lewin’s shirt was shipped to the USA and fetched £738.
The initiative to support the fight for diversity and inclusivity in professional football is part of the hummel's wider backing for Copenhagen 2021 World Pride and the EuroGames celebration which took place in August.
Everton and hummel representatives joined forces to present a discussion on LGBTI+ inclusion work as part of the Sport Leader Conference at the Eurogames and underlined the Club’s ongoing commitment to diversity, equality and inclusion.
Allan Vad Nielsen, hummel’s CEO, said: "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.
“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."
Money raised from the rainbow shirts has been donated to Everton in the Community’s Youth Engagement programme, with a focus on LBGTQ+ awareness.
Diversity activities and workshops, which include Rainbow Laces football tournaments, poster making, multi-sports and interactive sessions with LGBTI+ sport stars will round off with the annual Pride March in summer 2022.
Activities will take place throughout the rest of the season and will help to educate primary and secondary pupils on the importance of LGBTI+ awareness and how sport brings people together.
Primary Stars programme manager, Olivia Cardwell, said: ''We strive to promote equality and inclusion in all of our work at Everton in the Community and understand the powerful impact we can have within our community.
“This project shares the very important message that all within the Everton family are working together to make sport inclusive for all.
“Our work within youth engagement will continue to promote these positive messages of equality and celebrate diversity.”
Everton has taken an active role in promoting inclusion in football throughout the Everton Family.
From dedicated staff networks and fan groups such a Rainbow Toffees, to first team players holding public discussions on inclusivity and tackling discrimination.
Partnerships with Stonewall and Kick It Out help to steer the Club with advice and guidance and policy as well as implementing change.
The hummel Rainbow Shirt auction legacy is another positive step forward in ensuring football is, and remains, a sport for everyone.