Rotherham United are supporting the recently launched #HerGameToo initiative which is just one of a number of campaigns whose aim it is to create an inclusive environment within the world of football, no matter who you are or where you come from.
We like to believe that people can attend matches and events here at AESSEAL New York Stadium safe in the knowledge that they will be appreciated and their opinion valued as much as the next individual, but we understand that within the game, there is still work to be done to eradicate outdated thought processes and forms of discrimination that still exist within our society.
The #HerGameToo initiative focuses on looking to put an end to the disrespectful and outright inappropriate comments made towards and about women who watch the game we all love.
The women’s game has grown substantially over the last decade and with that has come an influx of female supporters attending stadia around the country to watch their favourite teams in action, alongside the many who have been born and raised watching men's teams in action.
However, the toxicity that so often appears across various social media platforms coupled with supporters with outdated and outright sexist attitudes towards women in football, has meant that unfortunately, we are seeing more and more discriminatory comments made towards them.
As a club and as a sport, we expect better.
Football is everyone’s game.
We are incredibly proud to say that one of the women who feature on the first #HerGameToo campaign video is one of our own lifelong supporters, Abbie Ackroyd.
Abbie united with a group of women representing their various clubs to produce a video for social media, highlighting the various deplorable comments made online about women who voice their opinions on the game, as any supporter of football would do.
In the week since the initiative was launched the video has received over 1.4million views on Twitter, trended at No.2 on the same social media platform and has had over 10,000 retweets.
A number of EFL clubs have also pledged their support to the campaign which makes up just one of a collection of efforts to end discrimination of all forms in the game.
Speaking to www.themillers.co.uk after the club pledged their support Abbie said:
“It means a lot to have the support and backing of my club.
“We, as the 12 founding members of the #HerGameToo movement, are committed to growing the campaign with the aim of fostering an ethos in football in which women are welcomed and respected equally."
“Football is a game for all and women should feel comfortable and valued when voicing their opinion and speaking about a game they are devoted to and passionate about, rather than be silenced due to fear of being abused or dismissed.
“I have been an avid Rotherham United supporter since I was 7-years-old and travel far and wide to support the Millers.
“I understand football and have a lot to say on the matter, like any other supporter. I enjoy a healthy debate about football on Twitter after a game, almost as much as the game itself.
“I don’t mind if people don’t agree with my views. What I do mind is being victimised and ridiculed because I happen to be female.
“Increasing inclusivity and eliminating outdated views and opinions within the terraces is essential.
“Gender shouldn’t be a barrier, we are all supporters and want the same thing which is the best for our football clubs.”