Sportswear manufacturer Hummel has announced this week that they will “tone down” their logos on the Denmark national team kits for the World Cup in protest of Qatar’s alleged human rights violations in the buildup to the tournament.
The 2022 host country has been heavily criticized for their treatment of migrant workers, many of whom have been tasked with building the infrastructure such as stadiums and lodging for the games in November and December.
According to a 2021 report from The Guardian, more than 6,500 migrant workers had died in Qatar since it was awarded the hosting privileges for the World Cup in 2011.
To compound the criticism, Qatar has long been marred by what many perceive as an outdated stance on LGBTQ rights — so much so that many participating countries have had to reassure their LGBTQ fans that they are allowed to attend the tournament.
In the most recent outcry of criticism from an involved party, jersey manufacturer Hummel announced they will “tone down” their logos on their designs for Denmark national team kits.
Their statement reads in part, “We don’t wish to be visible during a tournament that has cost thousands of people their lives. We support the Danish national team all the way, but that isn’t the same as supporting Qatar as a host nation. We believe that sport should bring people together. And when it doesn’t, we want to make a statement.”
On top of that, the Red and Whites’ third kit design will be all black in order to display what Hummel say is the ‘the color of mourning’ honoring the workers who have reportedly died.
Time will tell if more participating entities make similar statements ahead of the tournament. But as FIFA and Qatari officials continue to deny any allegations of human rights violations, the teams involved could grow more and more frustrated with the lack of transparency surrounding what should be soccer’s greatest celebration.