British telecom company EE has revealed its new squad of high-profile UK-based footballers for its “Hope United” campaign. Aiming to spread awareness regarding online abuse and how to deal with it, the players chosen for the campaign will appear in exclusive online content designed to teach audiences the digital skills required to prevent, report and stamp down on online sexism.
The EE Hope United team, which will be managed by Gareth Southgate, feature Ellen White, Lucy Bronze, Marissa Callaghan, Rebecca Sellar, Demi Stokes, Andy Robertson, Dan James, Declan Rice, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Jordan Henderson.
A YouGov survey commissioned by EE revealed that 53% of the public don’t feel the internet is a safe space for women, 62% believe that not enough is being done to tackle online and offline misogyny, and nearly half (46%) who have witnessed or experienced online sexism have admitted to not doing anything about it. Hence, EE, via the Hope United campaign, hopes to take up the responsibility of spreading awareness regarding online sexism and emboldening people to counter the problems of sexism, both online and offline.
EE Hope United full squad
Manager: Gareth Southgate
Coaches: Rio Ferdinand and Rachel Brown-Finnis
Jordan Henderson (England)
Dan James (Wales)
Andy Robertson (Scotland)
Lucy Bronze (England)
Demi Stokes (England)
Trent Alexander-Arnold (England)
Rebecca Sellar (Scotland)
Jamal Lewis (Northern Ireland)
Charlie Fogarty (Northern Ireland)
Lauren James (England)
Aaron Ramsdale (England)
Declan Rice (England)
Caroline Weir (Scotland)
Natasha Harding (Wales)
Michail Antonio (Jamaica)
Ellen White (England)
Marissa Callaghan (Northern Ireland)
Commenting on the announcement, Marc Allera, the Chief Executive of EE, said:
“While the majority will be rightly giving their support to the athletes competing in the Women’s Euros this summer, there will be the vocal minority trying to denounce and discredit the women’s game.
“Now, more than ever, it is imperative we come together to champion hope over hate, placing the onus on men to own the problem: this is why EE Hope United will continue to help shape a safer online world, giving others the confidence and knowhow to help call out and put a stop to online sexist hate.”
Lucy Bronze, England international and a member of the EE Hope United squad, also stated:
“As women footballers, the sad truth is that we now expect sexist abuse on a near daily basis: it has not only become an inescapable part of the game, but of a woman’s life in the public eye.”
Gareth Southgate, manager of the Hope United squad and the England senior men’s national team, also added:
“The simple fact is that men can do better. Sexism and misogyny are deplorable in any space and EE’s Hope United will make men aware that they are uniquely positioned to help bring it to an end: not only by monitoring their own behaviour but that of others and, when possible, calling it out and putting a stop to it.”