Norway's women's beach handball team was fined $1,770 ($177 per player) by the European Handball Federation for wearing what they deemed "improper clothing" during the European Beach Handball Championships in Bulgaria, against Spain.
What was their improper clothing? The team wore shorts instead of bikini bottoms.
Now, popstar Pink has offered to pay the fine, and applauded the women for "protesting the very sexist rules about their uniform."
“I’m VERY proud of the Norwegian female beach handball team FOR PROTESTING THE VERY SEXIST RULES ABOUT THEIR ‘uniform,’” she tweeted. “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."
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.
— P!nk (@Pink) July 25, 2021
The Norwegian team responded with an Instagram post of the team in their shorts. They wrote, “Thank you so much for the support. We really appreciate all the love we have received. You’re the best."
View this post on Instagram
The Norway Handball Federation also released the following statement: “We are very proud of these girls who are at the European Championships in beach handball. They raised their voice and told us that enough is enough. We are the Norwegian Handball Federation and we stand behind you and support you. We will continue to fight to change the international regulations for attire, so that players can play in the clothing they are comfortable with.”
The team’s decision to wear shorts instead of bikini bottoms drew headlines across the world. “Ahead of the tournament, Norway asked the EHF for permission to play in shorts but were told that breaches of the rules were punishable by fines. They complied, until their last match,” CBS News reported.
Martine Welfler, one of the Norwegian players stated, “I don’t see why we can’t play in shorts,” The New York Times reported. “With so much body shaming and stuff like that these days, you should be able to wear a little bit more when you play.” Players Tonya Lurstaad and Julia Bird, appearing on “Lorraine,” said, “We wanted to make a statement and change the regulation.”
Abid Raja, Norway’s Minister for Culture and Sports, called the fine “completely ridiculous,” the Daily Mail noted, adding, “What a change of attitude is needed in the macho and conservative international world of sport.” Kare Geir Lio, the head of the Norwegian Handball Federation, said Norway had complained about the bikini bottom requirement since 2006, adding, “Nothing has happened.”
Norwegian politician Lena Westgaard-Halle tweeted, “Can you please stop the forced bikini nonsense at your beach handball games? It is embarrassing, disgraceful and sexist. You are ruining both the sport and your own reputation.”
“International Handball Federation (IHF) rules state ‘female athletes must wear bikini bottoms’ and that these must have ‘a close fit,’ be ‘cut on an upward angle toward the top of the leg’ and a side depth of no more than 10 centimeters,” CBS News reported.
Sounds like it's about time to change the rules, eh? Men can play in appropriate clothing, so why can't women? Bikini bottoms ride up your butt and can be very uncomfortable and revealing when playing sports. Let them wear shorts!
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