Indiantoptierclub BengaluruFCareusingtheirvisibilitytocondemnandtakeastandagainstsexualassault,followinga massmolestationincident*onNewYear’sEveinIndia’sITcity.
An estimated 60,000 people gathered on two major roads in the centre of Bengaluru on Saturday 31 December to celebrate the new year. Witnesses and local media reports said the crowd turned unruly and a number of women were sexually assaulted or harassed.
In response to the incident, the I-League defending champions (India’s top tier league) donned pink jerseys in support of women in their match against Shillong Lajong FC.
Musatafa Ghouse, Bengaluru FC CEO, said: “We were really unhappy with the incident, and we wanted to do something about it. As a team, we’ve stood for many causes, and it was important for us to put a message across.
“We’ve always talked about providing a friendly experience at the stadium, so that kids, girls and aged people can be confortable. But after the incident, it was not a confortable feeling for anymore. We’ll be continuing this effort throughout the season”.
On social media the club posted a strong and heartfelt message with team captain Sunil Chhetri, striker Daniel Lalhlimpuia and the team’s defender John James Johnson condemning the attacks on women and calling on men to “take a pledge to be better men this year”.
“What happened in Bengaluru last week was horrific. But it is not the first time and it is not the only time. When 50% of the population has to live in fear you know there is something wrong with all of us. And while it may not be all of us, it is up to each one of us to be a better example for the guy next to us,” the players state in the video.
The team wore pink jerseys in support of women in their match against Shillong Lajong F.C.
— Bengaluru FC (@bengalurufc) January 7, 2017