A National Trust property has been forced to remove hats bearing the slogan ‘Future Footballers Wife’, after the merchandise sparked debate on social media.
The controversial headgear was first spotted by Laura Goss, who tweeted a picture of the accessory whilst exclaiming: ‘This stupid hat is for sale at Tatton Park. Your young female visitors deserve better merch (+ better grammar).’
The post got the attention of many users, who joined the conversation to share their shock, branding the merchandise ‘offensive’ and ‘outrageous’.
One wrote: ‘Very offensive that at what is seen as an educational place, a girl is marketed to that being someone’s something is aspirational’.
A second questioned: ‘Do you have one in blue for the boys saying “Future Footballers Husband” @nationaltrust?’, while another said: ‘How about just “Future footballer”? England women’s team wins more than the men.’
A fourth added: ‘Good grief that’s outrageous! What on earth does that tell our young girls!’
‘National Trust … wake up. Tacky and sexist. Not to mention the lack of apostrophe! Shame on you,’ another declared.
The National Trust responded to the controversy by saying the estate is managed by Cheshire East Council, who have since removed the product from sale.
A spokesman for Cheshire East Council said the hats were a ‘genuine mistake’, which were ‘removed immediately from the shelves as we would obviously not want to upset or cause offence to anyone’.
‘Our gift shop receives a bulk supply from our supplier, which includes a number of children’s hats. Unfortunately, we don’t know how this has exactly happened, but we have put the hats out on the shelf as part of that bulk supply without thinking whether they were appropriate for the shop and our visitors,’ the council spokesman said.
Products and adverts that are considered to be sexist are being called out on social media more and more frequently. High street retailer M&S having recently came under fire after a customer shared a picture of a nine-year-old girl seemingly unimpressed with a kissing mannequin in the store.
‘There’s something really unsettling about that child mannequin, it’s not right,’ one poster said at the time.