Sports Direct currently stick sexist size labels on their Sondico sports shin pads. Large sizes are labelled ‘men’, small size 'youth' and extra small ones "boys". When I bought the extra small size for my 6-year-old daughter, she noticed the labelling and asked why her shin pads were only for boys when girls play football too.
I think equipment labels are really important in influencing children as to which sports they are 'expected' to do as a girl or as a boy. It is ridiculous to label football shin pads as being only for men, particularly since football became the top participation sport for girls and women in England way back in 2002. My daughter and I have sent letters to Sports Direct requesting that they change the size labels to something more neutral like “adult”, “youth” and "child", in line with most other shin pad manufacturers. Their responses state that “this is the way the manufacturer markets them to Sports Direct” (this can’t be an issue, since Sondico and Sports Direct belong to the same group) and that they can’t give us a decision as this is “business sensitive information” (this is ridiculous, we are only requesting that they change some stickers on their packaging!).
Please sign our petition to get Sports Direct to change the labels on their shin pads to reflect the fact that football is for everyone – boys and girls alike.