FOLLOWING yesterday’s launch of the 2023 Keighley Cougars playing kits, co-owner and Chief Executive Ryan O’Neill has issued the following statement.
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 email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
By Ryan O’Neill, Chief Executive.