Championship side release statement on their controversial kit

Keighley Cougars have released a statement regarding their highly talked about kits for the 2023 season.

They’re a club that isn’t afraid to make a statement and their 2023 kits do that literally as they take the very unique step of having words all over their shirts.

Both their home and away kits have vees made out of the words ‘peace, love and unity’ as they look to bring all three to what they call “a divided world.”

Since then there has been lots of comments on social media, some positive and some negative, with plenty of talk about keeping politics and sport separate.

Instead Keighley have doubled down on their initial decision to try and promote unity with co-owner and Chief Executive Ryan O’Neill issuing this statement via the side’s website.

“I acknowledge the social media response to our 2023 playing kits, both positive and negative.

“As a club we are willing to accept criticism because we believe the messages that we are promoting are more important when it comes to the world outside of Cougar Park.

“Whilst the Keighley Cougars shirt is our identity as a club, in truth, it is much more than that.

“It isn’t just about what the players wear on the pitch or what the supporters wear on the terraces, it presents us a club with an opportunity.

“That opportunity is a unique privilege, it gives us as a club and Keighley as a town a platform to speak up and change attitudes.

“Whether that be more support for our armed forces and a step towards making the planet a healthier place to live in past seasons, or this season trying to unite a divided world through peace, love, and unity for all, the platform is there and the platform does allow us to achieve the goals we set out.

“This is being shown more than ever in the current FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

“The biggest sporting tournament on the planet is being held in a country with a history of human right abuses, especially to migrant workers and members of the LGBTQ+ community.

“And some of the most famous athletes on the planet are being silenced, whether that be the use of the One Love armbands or the pre-match protests of the Germany national team.

“But for us this is too late and shows the rest of the sporting world is playing catch up in a lane in which the Keighley Cougars has led the way since 2019.

“We will take the feedback, both positive and negative, learn from the criticism and continue to grow and move forward.

“However, we will never stop being pioneers for bringing together our communities and will continue to spread these messages to change attitudes, and hopefully the world, for the better.

“If any supporter would like to personally give feedback, please email me at either info@cougarmania.co.uk or ryan@cougarmania.co.uk .”

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