Australia’s captain Sam Kerr has no plans to wear ‘OneLove’ armband at World Cup

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Australia’s captain Sam Kerr, announced on Monday that she will not be wearing a rainbow armband with the slogan “OneLove” during the upcoming women’s World Cup. Kerr explained that she believes it is not worth “putting everything at risk” by wearing the armband. 

FIFA recently revealed eight different armbands that teams can wear to raise awareness for various social causes during the tournament, which will be co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand and begins on July 20th.

There was no inclusion of a rainbow-colored “OneLove” band to show support for LGBTQ rights.

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“We kind of expected it, the men’s World Cup, the women’s World Cup … being honest I didn’t expect them to change it (the rule),” Kerr, a long-time advocate of LGBTQ rights, said as Australia announced its 23-strong squad.

Several European captains, such as those from England and Germany, had intended to wear it during the men’s World Cup last year as a symbolic protest against Qatar’s laws criminalizing homosexuality. 

However, they decided against it after receiving threats of sporting penalties, including being shown a yellow card, just days before the tournament began.

“Obviously we would love to wear it – like most of the teams in the whole world, everyone has voiced that they would love to wear it,” Kerr said.

“But I think you saw with the men’s World Cup, (England captain) Harry Kane for example, first game if he had worn it, yellow card, if he’d got a yellow card again, he would’ve been sent off.

“So for me it’s not worth the risk of putting the team at risk, of putting the tournament at risk, putting everything at risk. There will be multiple opportunities where I get to use my voice for things.”

“We have to abide by the rules that we’re given really,” she said.

Instead of wearing the “OneLove” armband, players have the option to wear a modified version that resembles it. This modified armband will have the words “Unite for Inclusion” and a heart shape in rainbow colors. Other causes that will be highlighted include gender equality, putting an end to violence against women, addressing hunger, and advocating for the rights of indigenous people.

Captains will have the choice to wear a different armband for each match, depending on the cause being promoted, or they can choose to support one cause throughout the entire tournament.

READ ALSO: Australia 2023 Women’s World Cup Squad

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