The team chose to wear shorts instead of bikini bottoms and were fined about $1766.
Pink is supporting the Norwegian women's beach handball team and their protest against double standards when it comes to the sport's dress code. Not just vocally but financially as well. The 41-year-old singer offered to pay the team's $1,765.28 fine imposed by the European Handball Federation for competing in "improper clothing", reports PEOPLE. The team was fined 150 Euros apiece (for a total of 1,500 Euros) for wearing shorts instead of bikini bottoms to play in the European Beach Handball Championships bronze medal match against Spain in Varna, Bulgaria last Sunday. According to the IHF's rules, "female athletes 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." It's interesting to note that male players are allowed to play in tank tops and shorts no longer than 4 inches above the knee.
"It's not [appropriate clothing for] the activity when they are playing in the sand," Norwegian Handball Federation President Kåre Geir Lio told NBC News. From the start of the tournament, the team had petitioned to wear the shorts its players train in from the start of the tournament. They were threatened to be fined. But they decided to go ahead and make a statement on Sunday's match. "I got a message 10 minutes before the match that they would wear the clothing that they were satisfied with. And they got our full support," Lio said.
Pink wrote in a tweet on Saturday: 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. The Grammy-winning singer wasn't the only celebrity to voice her opinion on the matter. Tennis legend Billie Jean King also tweeted about the bikini bottoms, writing: The Norwegian Women’s Beach Handball team is facing fines for wanting to wear shorts instead of bikini bottoms. The bottoms are not to cover “more than 10cm on any sides.” The men’s team wears shorts. The sexualization of women athletes must stop
EHF President Michael Wiederer said it was planning to make changes. "I can confirm that the EHF will do all it can to ensure that a change of athlete uniform regulations can be implemented," Wiederer said in a statement. "Significant efforts will be made in order to further promote the sport in the best way possible for everyone, regardless of gender," the statement continued. He added: “The EHF acknowledges the position of the players involved and further steps towards change, in close coordination with the IHF, are in motion. We are also very much aware of the attention the topic currently receives. Wherever a reasonable dialogue seems possible, I try to respond personally to these emails and letters, explaining the position of the EHF, while also listening to every other point of view on this matter. Furthermore, the EHF are following its own strategies of strengthening women and women in handball. 35 percent of all function holders on a sport-political and technical level within the federation are women who continue to play their part in shaping European handball’s future.”
I’ll pitch in too! So proud of these women. Hopefully it starts a trend— michelle slevin (@mpaponetti73) July 25, 2021