By Caitlin McLaren – Deputy Sports Editor
As a female football fan I look at the new Manchester United shirt and I’m genuinely surprised. Upon seeing it for the first time I thought it was a new internet prank but soon realised how wrong I was.
Adidas replaced Nike in designing Manchester United’s shirt in a new £750million contract last year. Causing controversy from the outset, it is clear to see there is a notable plunging neckline where clear cleavage would be on show. The women’s range doesn’t even feature a replica shirt but has instead been listed under the lifestyle section of the store. Adidas have defended the shirt by claiming the ‘range has a slightly different design and fit to give fans a choice’.
For a start, I think it’s ridiculous that a team with the huge scale of popularity such as Manchester United still doesn’t have a women’s team. The lack of interest seems astonishing. Not only are they not releasing shirts, but they are also pretty much ignoring the buzz surrounding women’s football at the moment.
It appears to be discrimination in the fact that it’s sexualised women taking part in sport in general. Even if there is a choice, what about the women with big hips that feel insecure in the straight styled men’s shirt? There is no option for them. Additionally, women can be very insecure about having their cleavage on show. If wearing a sports bra, it would probably be visible because of how low the neckline plunges so it’s not giving off the desired effect anyway.
Another reason why the shirt is an insult is because the material that the shirt has been made out of is designed to stop making you sweat. It lacks practicality and I can’t see any reason of logic why it has been produced for distribution.
I’m sure that any woman playing sport wouldn’t feel comfortable wearing this shirt which shows it’s more of a fashion statement. Manchester United should start catering to females in general because it’s a new era in football for women. With the rise of the female football fans, United should take into consideration the fan base that they could be missing out on.