Singer and songwriter Pink has offered to pay off a fine for the Norwegian women handball team, who wore shorts instead of the required bikini bottoms for their match against Spain at the European Beach Handball Championships.
The team was fined £1,284 or £128 per player, and the reason given was that they wore “improper clothing”.
But the pop star tweeted in support of the the women: “I am very proud of the Norwegian female beach handball team for protesting the very sexist rules about their ‘uniform’,” she said.
She added: The European Handball Federation should be fined for sexism. Good on you, 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
Made a statement
Although male players are allowed to wear shorts no longer than 10cm above the knee, whilst women must wear bikinis with a close fit, with a maximum width of 10cm.
Kåre Geir Lio, the Norwegian Handball Federation president, said the team was threatened with disqualification or fines when asking for permission from the EHF, but decided to wear shorts anyway.
“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 told NBC News.
After facing online backlash, EHF said they will revise their uniform policy.
A statement from EHF president Michael Wiederer said: “I can confirm that the EHF will do all it can to ensure that a change of athlete uniform regulations can be implemented.
“Significant efforts will be made in order to further promote the sport in the best way possible for everyone, regardless of gender.”
Norwegian culture and equality minister Abid Raja thanked Pink for her support.
He said: “Thank you for your support P!nk! As minister of sports and equality in Norway I have sent letter to all nordic ministers of sports for a joint statement to support our women.
“I hope all the fans and friends you have give all their support as well,so we can change this stupid rule!
Raja also said the ruling against the players was “completely ridiculous” and called for a change of attitude in the “macho and conservative international world of sport”.
Thankyou for your support P!nk! As Minister of sports and equality in Norway I have sent letter to all nordic ministers of sports for a joint statement to support our women. I hope all the fans and friends you have give all their support as well,so we can change this stupid rule! https://t.co/18O5ugC2MD— Abid Raja (@abidraja) July 25, 2021
Pink joined American tennis legend Billie Jean King, who criticised the fines.
She said: “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.”
She added: “The men’s team wears shorts. The sexualization of women athletes must stop.”