'If we are not educating people who are the problem then we are not going to tackle it are we?'
Jordan Henderson and Declan Rice are among a host of players trying to fight online misogyny with EE Hope United
Lucy Bronze and Demi Stokes have explained why it is so important that fellow England stars like Jordan Henderson and Declan Rice are helping to lead the fight against sexism and misogyny through EE Hope United.
A host of England men’s team stars are involved with the campaign, with Henderson and Rice joined by Trent Alexander-Arnold, Aaron Ramsdale, manager Gareth Southgate and Three Lions legend Rio Ferdinand.
EE Hope United aim to galvanise the nation to make a stand against social media hate. Providing people with the necessary tools not only to understand the devastating effects of online hate, but also to show them how to be part of the solution.
It is an annual campaign and this year the focus is on online misogyny, highlighting that ‘sexist hate starts with men so it can end with men’.
Bronze and Stokes are just two England Women’s players involved in the campaign, with the pair joined by record goalscorer Ellen White, rising star Lauren James and former goalkeeper Rachel Brown-Finnis.
EE Hope United was one of the many subjects discussed on Friday night’s Lionesses Live, a daily show taking place across this summer’s tournament.
In episode six on Friday night, Bronze and Stokes joined presenters Joelah Noble and Abbie McCarthy from England’s base at The Lensbury Resort.
Stokes said: “It is really important [to have the men’s team players involved]. As a man, if you have daughters or nieces, or your mum or sisters, I always say ‘would you want them to go through sexist hate?’
“The answer is probably no so it is important that they give out that message as well and it is only right that it starts with the men and follows through.
“I think it is important that it comes from everyone. We can push it but equally, if we are not educating people who are the problem then we are not going to tackle it are we?”
Lionesses Live connected by EE | Episode 6
Demi Stokes and Lucy Bronze join Joelah Noble and Abbie McCarthy in the Lionesses Live studio
Bronze added: “It is nice as well because last year I did a lot of my [Hope United campaign work] with Jordan Henderson and we spoke a lot with Declan a couple of weeks ago, and they want to do it.
“They are like ‘why should you go through that? We don’t. We want to help you. We want to make it better’.
“That in itself is amazing. They want to be the ones who are helping, they want to be the ones who are making change and you are not fighting it yourself. They are fighting for you because they hold it dear to themselves as well.”
EE Hope United’s website provides clear guidance on how to report online abuse on the different social media platforms and also how users can block, filter out and mute sexist hate, as well as how to diversify their social media feed.
The shirt design includes marks which indicate the levels of abuse each player has received and is tailored to each of them.
Bronze said: “At the start of this year they came to me and said ‘this year it is focussed on this summer’s tournament it is hugely around misogyny so we would love to get your thoughts, what do you think and what can we do?’
“So I was quite heavily involved in this campaign, which was nice because it is something that I hold close to my heart – people telling me what to do because I am a woman.
“I was brought up by some strong women in my family and they would not let anyone tell me, that so I don’t want anyone else to feel like that.”
And Stokes added: “It is so important because it is not a campaign which we have just done and then forgotten about it. It is something that we are going to keep doing and keep tackling each problem that we can.
“To be a part of that is really important.”
You can find out more about EE Hope United on its website and today’s Lionesses Live episode includes England star Ella Toone and Chicken Shop Date’s Amelia Dimoldenberg, with episode seven available below from 3pm today (Saturday 9 July).
Ella Toone on Lionesses Live connected by EE
Ella Toone and Amelia Dimoldenberg join Joelah Noble for the seventh episode of Lionesses Live on Saturday afternoon
Find out about EE Hope United