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Pink Offers to Pay Fines for Norway’s Women’s Beach Handball Team Over Uniform Rules

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVJuly 26, 2021

Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for dcp

Recording artist Pink offered to pay the fines of Norway's women's beach handball team after the players took issue with their required uniform at a recent tournament.

The European Handball Federation said it fined the team €1,500 for wearing "shorts that are not according to the Athlete Uniform Regulations defined in the IHF Beach Handball Rules of the Game."

Pink applauded the players "FOR PROTESTING THE VERY SEXIST RULES" regarding uniforms:

P!nk @Pink

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 International Handball Federation requires that women's players wear bikini bottoms "with a close fit and cut on an upward angle toward the top of the leg." The side of the bottoms can be no more than 10 centimeters as well. The men, on the other hand, are expected to wear shorts.

Norway's women's team opted to don shorts in contravention of the rules while playing Spain for the bronze medal in the European championships.

"It was very spontaneous," said Norwegian handball player Katinka Haltvik to local broadcaster NRK (via Caroline Radnofsky of NBC News). "We thought, 'Let's just do it now, and then see what happens."

Norwegian Handball Federation President Kare Geir Lio told Radnofsky the players initially wanted to wear the shorts to begin the tournament but were cautioned by the EHA it could result in a fine or outright disqualification. Lio added the players had the national federation's full support for the protest during the bronze-medal games.

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Writing for NBC News, Britni de la Cretaz argued this situation was part of a larger issue regarding the uniform requirements for male and female athletes.  

"Women in sports are often put in a no-win situation, at times being told that while competing they have to wear revealing uniforms that feminize and sexualize their appearance by appealing to the male gaze, while at other times being chastised for their clothing being too revealing, a policing of the morality of women," de la Cretaz wrote.

She also explained how more revealing uniforms on female athletes have been used as a means for others to demean women's sports as a whole.

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