Per People, at the recent European Beach Handball Championships, all female players were required by the International Handball Federation to 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.” But the Norwegian team, going up against Spain, decided at the last minute to play in shorts and were fined the equivalent of $1,765 by the European Handball Federation, which cited “improper clothing.”
The men’s team, you will not be surprised to learn, appears to play in comfortable tank tops and loose athletic shorts.
Pink, however, was having none of this. On July 24, she tweeted a message of support, both moral and financial: “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.”
Thankfully, the Norwegian Handball Federation is also standing behind its team, and the organization will pay the athletes’ fines. “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,” said NHF President Kåre Geir Lio, per People. In fact, the EHF will reportedly re-evaluate their dress code in the wake of this small but effective protest.
“We are very proud of these girls…They raised their voice and told us that enough is enough,” the NHF wrote on Instagram. “We stand behind you and support you. We will continue to fight to change the international regulations for attire so that players can play in the clothing they are comfortable with.”