JD Sports has apologised and removed a photo advertising the Scottish women’s football kit from its site after a dad called it out for “everyday sexism”.
The image showed a woman posing in ripped jeans with her legs splayed open. In contrast, the retailer “presented the boys and men as athletes”, said dad-of-two Simon Kemp.
He spotted the image while visiting the site to buy new kits for his family ahead of the Women’s World Cup this summer. In a further tweet he went on to that his daughter plays football “as do thousands of girls”.
“What kind of example does this set for them?” he asked.
JD Sports has now removed the image and instead, the kit is modelled in the same style as the men’s, with Man United and Scotland player Lizzie Arnot standing face-on, wearing the shirt with shorts.
While some people on Twitter didn’t see anything wrong with the original photo, suggesting those who objected were “snowflakes”, others praised Kemp for making a stand, pointing out that the level of backlash he’s received shows we still have a long way to go to tackle sexism.
The Scottish FA has now apologised for the image, saying that as soon as it was brought to its attention, it requested JD Sports remove it from its site.
A spokesperson said: “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 claimed it “occasionally test[s] alternative product styles online to appeal to the full range of customers who visit our site”.
“While the principal images used for this product online were modelled in the traditional sportswear style, an alternative fashion-led image was tested for a short time,” a spokesperson told HuffPost UK.
“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.”
The sports brand said it remains committed to promoting and supporting the Scotland Women’s teams in the build-up to the FIFA Women’s World Cup this summer, and “apologises for any upset this has caused”.