hummel takes a stand on LGBT rights during World Cup

The Danish sports brand, hummel, is raising awareness of LGBT rights in Russia during World Cup 2018 in a new campaign.

hummel takes a stand on LGBT rights during World Cup in Russia

PRESS RELEASE: The Danish sports brand, hummel, is launching a giant rainbow jersey prior to tomorrow’s match against Australia to promote tolerance and acceptance and provide specific support for the Russian LGBT community. hummel will sell the rainbow jerseys in Germany, England and Denmark to raise money for the Russian LGBT Sport Federation; an organization that is working to unite the Russian LGBT community through sports.

Right now, a giant 13-meter-tall rainbow jersey is being raised at Aarhus harbor prior to tomorrows match. The idea is to bring hummel’s mantra ”Change the world through sport” to life in the wake of the debate about sexual minority rights and safety during the World Cup. The installation is made from 120 special designed football jerseys, with the message “Change the world” written in Russian, with the easy recognizable Cyrillic letters. The jerseys are launched together with a captain’s armband in hummel’s biggest markets to raise money and awareness to the LGBT cause in Russia.

”hummel has a history of actively promoting tolerance through sports. We have been engaged in promoting LGBT rights in Germany and Denmark for some time. Naturally, we wanted to include this message in this summer’s activities,” says Ulrik Feldskov Juul, Head of Communications for hummel.

hummel has been in an intensive dialogue with the Russian non-profit organization LGBT Sport Federation, who has been working against the discrimination of sexual minorities in the Russian sports communities since 2010.

”We are full of respect for the work they do. Which is why we support the Diversity House in Moscow, where we among others provide campaign materials and jerseys for the LGBT football tournament Football For All,” says Ulrik Feldskov Juul.

The giant rainbow jersey was supposed to have decorated a central location in Moscow, however, based upon advice from local experts, who deemed the message too controversial to obtain the necessary permits due to the apparent rainbow activism, hummel decided to move the street activities to the hometown of Aarhus and the Danish World Cup party.

”Sexual minority rights is a sensitive issue in Russia and we have been very careful not to step on any toes. However, in the end we had to come to terms with the fact that we were at risk of doing more harm than good. Besides that, our Russian event agency also had some concerns about the task at hand. Therefore, we have decided to concentrate our local activities to Diversity House and at the same time send a Danish message of accept and tolerance”, Ulrik Feldskov Juul explains.

The decision to move the installation meant working overtime for a great many people. A Danish ice hockey rink was used for the job of stitching the jerseys together over the course of 48 hours.

Despite the disappointment of having to move the arrangement away from the center of events, hummel has not turned down their ambitions in their work to promote the cause:

”It has been quite demanding to move the event. Therefore, we are now turning up our ambitions to sell the rainbow jerseys and hopefully, we can send a clear message and a large check to the LGBT organization in Russia,” says Ulrik Feldskov Juul.

The sale of the special designed rainbow jerseys and captain’s armband will take place in Denmark, Germany and England during the World Cup, and all proceeds will go directly to the Russian LGBT Sport Federation.

Russian LGBT rights have been a hot potato politically ever since the country introduced legislation in 2013 aimed at so-called “gay propaganda”, and in November the football organization FARE, who is also a partner in Moscow’s Diversity House, warned against homosexuals e.g. holding hands in public places during the World Cup.

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