The European Handball Federation (EHF) just gave Pink a reason to get involved.
The singer announced over the weekend that she’s willing to cover a 1,500-Euro fine issued to Norway‘s beach handball team after the women defied the rules and wore athletic shorts instead of bikini bottoms at a tournament earlier this month.
Pink tweeted that she is “VERY proud” of the team for “PROTESTING THE VERY SEXIST RULES ABOUT THEIR ‘uniform.’” She also called for the EHF to be fined for sexism.
“Good on ya, ladies,” she wrote. I’ll be happy to pay your fines for you. Keep it up.”
The EHF had specifically rejected the Norwegians’ plans to wear shorts for the tournament, citing the uniform policy that mandates bikini bottoms for all female athletes.
In this file photo, the Norway team lines up during the 2018 Women’s Beach Handball World Cup final against Greece on July 29, 2018, in Kazan, Russia. Ilnar Tukhbatov/Epsilon/Getty Images
The women wore black bikini bottoms for their initial games, but they switched into tight-fitting blue athletic shorts for their bronze-medal match against Spain, sparking cheers from the crowd when they hit the sand.
The EHF issued 150-Euro fines for each of the team’s 10 players after the match, citing the official rulebook’s uniform guidelines.
Norway’s women’s beach handball team is shown wearing shorts at their bronze medal game on July 18, 2021. Norwegian Handball Federation
Women “must wear bikini bottoms,” according to the International Handball Federation rules. The bottoms must have “a close fit and cut on an upward angle toward the top of the leg,” the rules say, while the side width “must be of a maximum of 10 centimetres.”
The Norwegians stood by their act of defiance and the story soon gained international attention last week — particularly after the fine was issued.
“We are very proud of these girls who … raised their voice and told us that ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!” the Norwegian Handball Federation said in a Facebook post after the incident.
“Thank you so much for all the support,” the women wrote in an Instagram post last week. “We really appreciate all the love we have received.”
The bikini controversy erupted just before the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, where multiple incidents have also provoked discussion about female athletes’ attire.
Over the weekend, for example, Germany’s gymnasts debuted a new-look unitard that covers more of the female athletes’ bodies than the traditional leotard. The German Gymnastics Federation introduced the outfits earlier this year as part of a plan to fight “sexualization in gymnastics.”
Welsh Paralympian Olivia Breen found herself at the heart of another debate last week, after the long-jumper was criticized for wearing briefs that were too short.
“I have been wearing the same style sprint briefs for many years and they are specifically designed for competing in,” she said in a statement ahead of the Games, after facing criticism from a female official in the U.K. “I will hopefully be wearing them in Tokyo,” she wrote.
The International Olympic Committee has the final say over appropriate uniforms at this year’s games, according to the Olympic Charter.