Leeds have launched a partnership with campaign group Her Game Too in a bid to raise awareness of sexist abuse in football and ultimately stamp it out altogether.
The club said, “We are joining a number of other clubs from the EFL and beyond to show our commitment to the cause, helping to create further awareness around the problems females can face both on matchdays and online away from fixtures.”
Leeds’ Premier League fixture against Manchester United on 20 February will be dedicated to the campaign, with players to wear branded T-shirts whilst warming up, information in the matchday programme and branding on Elland Road’s big screen.
Her Game Too was launched by a group of female football fans in May 2021 and has already amassed close to 20,000 followers on Twitter in the nine months since.
The hard-hitting launch video, which features female fans holding up cards with sexist abuse they have received in relation to football, has been viewed almost two million times.
Her Game Too aims to create a more welcoming atmosphere for women and girls at football stadiums, as well as championing women who play football, work in football and support football.
“Football is most certainly a game for all but sadly sexism is still rife in the beautiful game,” said Leeds fan Jessica Furness, one of the 12 co-founders of Her Game Too.
“Since a young age I've been a hugely passionate Leeds fan but have always felt out of place as a female in a male-dominated game. I'm really looking forward to working with the club on promoting equality, raising awareness on sexism and empowering women in football.
“We want to make their experiences as enjoyable and safe as possible, not just for the female Leeds fans of today but also tomorrow.”
Leeds chief executive Angus Kinnear commented, “Sexism and abuse towards females will absolutely not be tolerated by anyone associated with the club and we hope that by supporting important campaigns and organisations such as Her Game Too, it will only help us in ensuring that everyone feels welcome and safe when they are at Elland Road.”
A recent study led by Durham University found that still more than two thirds of male football fans hold hostile, sexist or misogynistic attitudes towards women’s sport after a survey of 1,950 men detected what the researchers described as ‘openly misogynistic masculinities’.
Of those whose responses to the survey put them into the most overtly misogynistic group, nearly 70% suggested women should not participate in sport at all, or should avoid sports like football, with media reporting on women’s sport regarded as ‘positive discrimination’ or ‘PC nonsense’.