Pink has offered to pay the fine handed to Norway’s beach handball team after the women wore bike shorts instead of bikini bottoms at a European championship match.
The year is 2021 and yet, just last week, the Norwegian women’s handball team was fined for wearing shorts instead of bikini bottoms during their bronze medal match against Spain in Varna, Bulgaria.
Apparently going against the European Handball Federation’s “dress code“, the athletes were ordered to pay €150 per teammate, for a total of €1,500 (which comes out to approximately £1,285.66).
“The Disciplinary Commission at the Beach Handball EURO 2021 has dealt with a case of improper clothing,” reads a statement from the EHF.
“In the bronze medal game against Spain on Sunday the team of Norway played with shorts that are not according to the Athlete Uniform Regulations defined in the [International Handball Federation’s] Beach Handball Rules of the Game.”
Right. So, the organisation’s rules do state that “female athletes must wear bikini bottoms… with a close fit and cut on an upward angle toward the top of the leg.”
They also state, for reasons unclear, that “the side width [of these bikini bottoms] must be of a maximum of 10 centimetres [about 4 inches].”
When you consider the fact that men are allowed to wear shorts that are longer (albeit remaining “10 centimetres above the kneecap”), this all smells like a big old pile of sexist bullshit, to be perfectly frank.
And we’re not the only people who think this situation stinks; legendary musician Pink recently got a whiff of the scandal, too, and she has a lot to say about it.
That’s right; taking to Twitter, Pink has now offered to pay the fine on behalf of the Norwegian women’s handball team, praising them for taking a stand against misogyny.
“I’m VERY proud of the Norwegian female beach handball team FOR PROTESTING THE VERY SEXIST RULES ABOUT THEIR ‘uniform,’” the musician tweeted.
“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.”
Of course, Pink isn’t the only one standing behind the team; the Norwegian Handball Federation has, too.
“We are very proud of these girls who are at the European Championships in beach handball,” reads a statement from the organisation posted to Instagram. “They raised their voice and told us that enough is enough.
“We are the Norwegian Handball Federation and 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.”
Now, buoyed up by all the “love” and “support” they have received, the athletes have stressed that they will not be backing down anytime soon.
Appearing on ITV’s Lorraine, teammates Tonje Lerstad and Julie Aspelund Berg said firmly: “If the guys can do the sport with a T-shirt and shorts, then we should be able to do the exact same sport with the exact same outfit…
“Hopefully, we [have made] a statement now and maybe they will change the rules.”
It’s worth noting that a spokeswoman for the International Handball Federation, Jessica Rockstroh, has since told The New York Times that she does not know the reason for the uniform rules.
“We’re looking into it internally,” she said, although she added that Norway is the only country that has officially complained.
“Globally we know that other countries like to play in bikinis, for example, especially in South America.”
Maybe, then, the solution is to offer players a choice, so that they can compete in whatever makes them feel most comfortable and empowered? Just a thought.