Danish sports label hummel said it was warned not to erect a giant rainbow coloured football shirt in central Moscow during the FIFA World Cup.
The company, which is the official sponsor of football jersey’s for the Danish team, said local experts deemed the message too controversial to obtain the necessary permits due to ‘apparent rainbow activism’.
Hummel has instead erected the giant rainbow jersey in its hometown of Aarhus ahead of Friday’s match between Denmark and Australia.
13 metre shirt is now on display in Aarhus harbour
The company said it wanted to show its commitment in the fight for LGBT rights in Russia. The idea was 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, it said.
‘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,’ said Hummel spokesman, Ulrik Feldskov Juul.
He said the company has been in an intensive dialogue with the Russian non-profit organization, LGBT Sport Federation, which 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,’ said Juul.
Despite the disappointment of not being allowed to display the 13-metre tall rainbow jersey at the center of events, hummel insists it hasn’t toned-down its efforts to support LGBT in Russia.
”It has been quite demanding to move the event. Therefore, we are now turning up our ambitions to selling the rainbow jerseys and hopefully, we can send a clear message and a large cheque to the LGBT organization in Russia,” said 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.