Last week, the European Handball Federation (EHF) fined the Norwegian women’s beach handball team more than $1,700 after the female athletes protested sexist uniform rules by competing in shorts rather than in bikini bottoms. According to the EHF, the women played in “improper clothing,” and that as stated in the rules, women’s bottoms must have “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.”
Each teammate on Norway’s women’s beach handball team was fined 150 euros, but when music popstar and three-time Grammy Award-winning artist Pink heard about this outrageous penalty, she spoke up on Twitter and offered to pay the fine. Her tweet, which was published on July 25 reads:
“I’m VERY proud of the Norwegian female beach handball team FOR PROTESTING THE VERY SEXIST RULES ABOUT THEIR “uniform”. 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.”
Once the news of how the organization responded to the uniform debacle went viral, EHF President Michael Wiederer announced that they will try to change the rules regarding women’s uniforms. “I can confirm that the EHF will do all it can to ensure that a change of athlete uniform regulations can be implanted,” he declared. “Significant efforts will be made in order to further promote the sport in the best way possible for everyone, regardless of gender.”
It’s disheartening that there had to be a protest (and punishment) in the first place before the EHF considered changing their outdated rules, however, this story is an inspiration for others to rebel and speak out against oppression. Together, we will forge a more equitable future for all.
Image source: CBS News