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Nike Faces Backlash Over Revealing Track Uniforms: Sexism in Sports?

Daniel Kim Views  

'수영복 같은 디자인' 美 여자 육상대표팀 경기복 논란
Nike’s newly revealed uniforms for the U.S. women’s track team. social media screenshot

The recently revealed uniforms for the U.S. women’s track team for the 2024 Paris Olympics are sparking controversy due to their revealing design, reminiscent of swimwear.

According to foreign media outlets like AP News on the 14th (local time), Nike unveiled the uniforms for the U.S. track team during the Nike Air Innovation Summit in Paris, France, held on the 11th. The women’s uniforms, featuring designs that fully expose the legs from the hips, have drawn criticism for being sexist.

Lauren Fleshman, a former long-distance runner for the U.S. national team, voiced her concerns on Instagram, stating, “Athletes should be able to focus on the competition without worrying about exposing sensitive body parts,” and added, “If these clothes are truly functional, men should wear them too.” Steeplechase runner Colleen Quigley remarked, “These uniforms were not made for performance.”

In response to the criticisms, Nike Inc., the manufacturer of the uniforms, clarified, “While we only offered short shorts at the Tokyo Olympics, this time there are many more options.” Nike elaborated, “Women can choose from shorts, crop tops, tank tops, or bodysuit-style shorts,” emphasizing that Nike is collaborating with numerous athletes at all stages of the uniform design process. Other options will be revealed at the U.S. Olympic Committee’s online meeting on the 15th.

Recently, there have been movements in the sports world to change uniforms with revealing designs. In 2021, the Norwegian women’s beach handball team protested the bikini-wearing rule by wearing shorts at the European Championships and were fined. The German women’s gymnastics team wore full suits at the Tokyo Olympics the same year. The New Zealand Gymnastics Federation recently changed its dress code to allow leotards (tight-fitting costumes worn by dancers and female gymnasts) to be worn with shorts or leggings.

Daniel Kim
content@viewusglobal.com

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