The popular football stars removed the product placements from press conferences in small acts of rebellion against unhealthy brands using their sport, and image for promotions. Their actions are sparking change in the professional sports industry.
Previously UEFA said they would allow players to remove alcohol products in press conferences based on religious reasons such as the case with Muslim football players. While this does not address the wider problem of promoting harmful alcohol norms through sports, it’s a small step in the right direction.
Edinburgh City Football Club has taken a more concrete step towards positive change by banning all unethical brands such as alcohol, tobacco and gambling from promotions of any form.
Edinburgh City Football Club has said they want to “use their status within football as a positive force for change.”
Currently, more than 62% clubs of the Scottish Professional Football League (SPFL) receive sponsorship from Alcohol, Tobacco and Betting companies, and in England that figure is even higher.
Edinburgh City do not think that professional sport should endorse or support these activities, and it is our pledge not to promote Alcohol, Tobacco or Gambling in any form,” said a spokesperson for Edinburgh City Football Club, as per Edinburgh Live.A spokesperson for Edinburgh City Football Club
The club is urging companies based in Edinburgh and the surrounding areas who hold similar values to work with them to carry their message forward and become a force for good in the local community; helping children and young people develop a positive, healthy outlook on life.
As Movendi International has reported previously, professional sports glamorizing ill health is a serious problem. Since many children and youth watch these sporting events, it can influence their behaviors negatively.
One study found that exposing people to an alcohol brand, and more strongly to a mainstream alcohol brand, such as done in alcohol marketing in sports, leads to more positive attitudes towards alcohol more generally. Researchers have called for banning alcohol and junk food promotions in sports, such as done for tobacco.