While the Tokyo Summer Olympics have already had a number of points amongst its organizers and with its dealing with of COVID-19, just a few different controversies have sprung up inside some athletes’ Olympic uniforms.
Several controversies concerning racism, sexism and human rights violations have made headlines within the lead-up to the Tokyo Games, starting from Norway’s ladies’s seashore handball crew carrying shorts as a substitute of bikini bottoms throughout a sport to Australia’s official uniform doubtlessly being made with Xinjiang cotton, which is linked to compelled labor and main human rights violations.
Here, WWD rounds up among the controversies surrounding the Tokyo Summer Olympics uniforms. Read on for extra.
Norway’s Women’s Beach Handball Team
Spectators had been upset over a ruling in opposition to Norway’s ladies’s seashore handball crew on July 20, the place the feminine athletes had been fined over their determination to put on shorts as a substitute of the required bikini bottoms throughout a sport on the European Championship.
The European Handball Federation fined every participant 150 euros (roughly $177), equaling a complete wonderful of 1,500 euros.
While male handball gamers are permitted to put on tank tops and shorts, feminine gamers are required to put on midriff tops and bikini bottoms.
The Norwegian crew shall be paying the wonderful; nevertheless, they’ve been campaigning to vary the game’s gown code since 2006 and can proceed their combat by means of the Olympics.
The crew knowledgeable the federation previous to the sport that they might be carrying the shorts as a substitute of bikini bottoms in an effort to make an announcement in opposition to the game’s gown code. The crew wrote concerning the determination in an Instagram submit shared on Tuesday, stating: “We are also very proud about making a statement in the bronze final by playing in shorts instead of required bikini bottoms! We are overwhelmed by the attention and support from all over the world! Thank you so much to all the people who support us and help spread the message! We really hope this will result in a change of this nonsense rule!”
There was uproar in early July amongst athletes and followers when the International Swimming Federation (also called FINA) put a ban on Soul Cap, a Black-owned firm that creates bigger swim caps that higher accommodates and protects pure hair.
Soul Cap’s founders, Michael Chapman and Toks Ahmed-Salawudeen, spoke with BBC earlier this month on the ban, stating that the federation rejected their product as a result of to their “best knowledge, the athletes competing at the international events never used, neither require to use, caps of such size and configuration.”
They additionally acknowledged the ban is because of the Soul Cap not following the “natural form of the head.”
The founders additional commented on the ban on the Soul Cap Instagram web page, writing: “For younger swimmers, feeling included and seeing yourself in a sport at a young age is crucial. FINA’s recent dismissal could discourage many younger athletes from pursuing the sport as they progress through local, county and national competitive swimming.”
Due to the backlash, the federation is reviewing the ban and issued an announcement that learn partially: “FINA is committed to ensuring that all aquatics athletes have access to appropriate swimwear for competition where this swimwear does not confer a competitive advantage. FINA is currently reviewing the situation with regards to Soul Cap and similar products, understanding the importance of inclusivity and representation.”
The Australian Olympic committee confronted backlash earlier this yr when it revealed its official Olympics uniforms could be designed by sports activities model Asics. The model, amongst many others, was caught up in controversy over doubtlessly utilizing cotton from Xinjiang, a area in China that’s house to a big inhabitants of Turkic Uyghur individuals, within the uniforms.
Xinjiang and its cotton have been engulfed in controversy since a 2020 report from the Australian Strategic Policy Institute was launched, which recognized 27 factories within the 9 Chinese provinces utilizing over 80,000 Uyghur individuals as compelled laborers between 2017 and 2019. The elevated consideration on the Xinjiang cotton inspired the U.S. to subject a ban on the fabric in January.
Asics and the Australian Olympic Committee confronted criticism when the official uniforms had been launched in March, dealing with questions over the utilization of the Xinjiang cotton. Backlash ensued when Asics launched an announcement on social media in China about utilizing the fabric, stating that the corporate would proceed to purchase cotton from Xinjiang regardless of different firms ending their utilization.
Asics later launched one other assertion on the cotton and Australian uniforms that backtracked the unique.
“We are currently clarifying that the statement in question was unauthorized as is not our official corporate position on this matter,” the assertion learn. “And we can confirm that the Australian Olympic Team uniform does not contain cotton sourced from Xinjiang and was not manufactured in this region.”
Paralympian Olivia Breen
Ahead of the Tokyo Summer Games, Paralympic athlete Olivia Breen spoke out in opposition to a feminine official on the English Championships who informed her her briefs had been too brief and inappropriate.
“She was like, ‘your briefs are too revealing. I think you should buy a pair of shorts,’” Breen mentioned throughout an interview with Sky News on Tuesday. “I didn’t know what to say. I just looked speechless and I just said to her, ‘are you joking?’ And she said ‘no, I think you should consider buying a pair of shorts.’ I just looked at my teammate and I just didn’t know what to say. [The officials] just shouldn’t tell us what we can and can’t wear. I’ve been wearing these for nine years of my career and I’ve never had a problem like this before.”
Breen additionally wrote concerning the incident on Twitter, speculating if the identical criticism could be given to a male athlete.
“[The incident] made me question whether a male competitor would be similarly criticized,” she wrote. “I hope no other female athletes had similar issues. I recognize that there needs to be regulations and guidelines in relation to competition kit, but women should not be made to feel self-conscious about what they are wearing when competing, but should feel comfortable and at ease.”
Breen hopes that she will be able to proceed carrying the briefs when competing on the Tokyo Paralympics in August.
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