The Ħamrun Spartans football club is standing up for better gender equality in the wake of the horrific murder of Paulina Dembska.
In a video uploaded to Facebook, players Darko Gojkovic, Luke Gambin and Juan Carlos Corbalan sit against a black background and quietly face the camera while smearing red paint with their fingers on their cheeks.
The act symbolises the brutal murder of the 29-year-old Polish student in Sliema on January 2, which is being dubbed partly as an act of violence against women.
“Not all men. No one thinks it’s all men. It’s enough men,” the video says.
“Paulina Demsbka’s murder is a wake-up call for Maltese society. Let’s work harder for better gender equality. Let’s strive for more respect for each other.”
A spokesperson for the club said that this video is part of a wider effort to create awareness about the most pressing problems facing society today.
“We are a football team and we are primarily focused on having good players and winning matches and championships. We are now branching into business as well, acquiring sponsors to maximise profit to be able to invest in better talent and resources. But that is not all. There is also a social dimension to our club,” the spokesperson said.
“We feel we should use our platform and our following to raise awareness and be a voice for positive change. And this is part of it.”
The spokesperson said the club attributes this vision to the new management, mainly the president and the CEO. The president of Ħamrun Spartans is developer Joseph Portelli.
Ħamrun Spartans are the reigning champions of Maltese football, after winning last year’s Premier League. They are currently in third place in the championship.