Players in Italy’s top domestic soccer league gave their moms a big Mother’s Day gift over the weekend by putting their names on the backs of their jerseys.

Players on Serie A clubs AC Milan, Cagliari, Hellas Verona, Torino and Genoa replaced their own surnames with the first name or the maiden name of their mothers in matches on Saturday and Saturday. Players on US Lecce and Udinese will do the same in their match on Monday.

The gesture didn’t just celebrate Mother’s Day, though. It also celebrated a change made to Italian law in 2022 that resulted in children not being automatically given their father’s last name at birth. According to AC Milan’s website, as of June 1, 2022, “both parents must have the right to choose their children’s surnames, as a fundamental element of their personal identity.”

“We are happy and proud of this initiative, born on a special occasion like Mother’s Day to raise public awareness about the equal right to choose the surname of one’s children. We are equally pleased with the attention and enthusiasm with which it has been welcomed by Lega Serie A and the participation of several other clubs in our league. An operation in line with AC Milan’s vision, which has always promoted positive values, such as social and gender equality, to contribute to a common and shared cultural change”.

— Giorgio Furlani, CEO, AC Milan

Only seven Serie A clubs were able to participate in the initiative as it was announced too late for all clubs to organize the equipment needed.

“In my personal and professional growth,” added AC Milan captain Davide Calabria, “my mother has been the most important person. She sacrificed everything for me, teaching me the spirit of sacrifice and dedication. Wearing her surname on the field this weekend will be a great source of pride for me.”

A complete list of the players on the participating clubs and the maternal names that would appear on their jerseys can be found here.

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