LONDON (AP) — Nike will start selling replicas of England goalkeeper Mary Earps' jersey after facing a public outcry for not making them available to fans during the Women's World Cup.
Earps had criticized the company, which is England's kit supplier for both the men's and women's national teams, for only putting replicas of the outfield players' jerseys up for sale during the tournament, calling it “ hugely disappointing and very hurtful. ”
Nike has regularly sold goalkeeper jerseys for the men's teams it sponsors, and the absence of Earps' shirt in stores became a bigger talking point when she saved a penalty in the final — which Spain won 1-0 — and was named the best goalkeeper of the tournament.
More than 150,000 people signed an online petition calling for Nike to sell Earps jerseys, and some British politicians have also echoed those demands.
Nike announced Thursday that it had secured “limited quantities” of goalkeeper jerseys for both England and some other teams it sponsored at the tournament — the United States, France and the Netherlands — to be sold through each country's federation website.
“We recognize that during the tournament we didn’t serve those fans who wished to show their passion and support to the squad’s goalkeepers," the company said in a statement. "We are committed to retailing women’s goalkeeping jerseys for major tournaments in the future.”
Earps’ club Manchester United said earlier Thursday that her No. 27 shirt was its second best-selling women’s replica shirt so far this season, behind Lionesses teammate Ella Toone.
AP World Cup coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/fifa-womens-world-cup