The Norwegian women’s beach handball team has received worldwide support after it refused to wear bikini bottoms during competition — even catching the eye of pop superstar Pink.
Pink said she is proud of the team for its protest at the European Beach Handball Championships. The team was imposed a fine of $1,770 — $177 per player — due to an improper clothing infraction. Players have long said wearing bikini bottoms during play is uncomfortable and degrading, McClatchy News reported.
The players may not have to worry about that fine, as Pink intends to pay it, she wrote on Twitter.
“I’m VERY proud of the Norwegian female beach handball team FOR PROTESTING THE VERY SEXIST RULES ABOUT THEIR ‘uniform,’” Pink wrote. “The European handball federation SHOULD BE FINED FOR SEXISM. Good on ya, ladies. I’ll be happy to pay your fines for you. Keep it up.”
The European Handball Federation states women in international matches must wear bikini bottoms “with a close fit and cut on an upward angle toward the top of the leg. The side width must be of a maximum of 10 centimeters.” Men are allowed to wear shorts that are longer.
This is what they have to wear. They say these bottoms make them feel unnecessarily sexualized + uncomfortable when they have their periods and the likes. They will however play in them as long as they are mandatory by the CEV. pic.twitter.com/OYmmS5PyGi
— Tradia (@amalieskram) July 15, 2021
The team was going to wear thigh-length shorts during a match July 17, but backed off when it was threatened with disqualification, McClatchy News reported. Playing in the bronze medal match a day later, the players decided to go with boy shorts.
Michael Wiederer, president of the federation, said “significant efforts” will be made to change the athlete uniform regulations.
Tennis legend Billie Jean King also commented on the situation, saying on Twitter “the sexualization of women athletes must stop.”
“Thank you so much for all the support,” the team posted on Instagram. “We really appreciate all the love we have received. You’re the best.”