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Nike Sparks Backlash From US Olympic Athletes Over Skimpy Female Uniforms

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Nike Sparks Backlash From US Olympic Athletes Over Skimpy Female Uniforms
Source: X/SheThePeople

Nike Sparks Backlash From US Olympic Athletes Over Skimpy Female Uniforms

Source: X/SGeorgieparker

The 2024 Olympic Games are coming soon, and sports lovers are excited! However, the U.S. women’s Olympic team and the general population have a big issue with the proposed track gear.

The Paris Games 2024

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The highly anticipated 2024 Olympic Games will be held in Paris, France and it is just right around the corner. Sports lovers from around the world are excited! It will kick off on Friday, July 26th and come to an end on Sunday, August 11th. The summer Olympics promise to be fun, exciting and competitive if the last event was any indication.

Limited Excitement for U.S. Women’s Team

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While most participants and watchers are happy and excited, the U.S. Women’s team’s excitement is quite limited. This is not a result of internal issues, budgeting, or even financing. The cause for concern for these women is their sports gear. What’s more, even women who are not on the Olympic team are bothered by the new sports gear that came out in April.

Nike Faces Backlash

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As with other years, popular American sports brand Nike was responsible for their gear for the competition. However, they have received a lot of backlash for the 2024 sports gear for women, with people calling it “sexist” and too “skimpy,” according to The New York Post. Some also went as far as saying that the new uniforms will surely make their genitals come out as they perform their sport.

Sexist Uniforms

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After the unveiling of the new Olympic sports uniforms in April, Nike faced a lot of backlash and accusations of sexism. In addition, critics were left bothered and wondered if female athletes were given any say in the creation of the uniforms. Even athletes criticized the hip baring outfit, arguing that Nike decides to prioritize skimpiness over functionality while creating them.

Fear of Genitalia Flashing

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Various athletes, both past and present, came forward to complain about the new uniform. Tara Davis-Woodhall, an American field and track athlete who performed at the 2020 Games in Tokyo, had a couple of things to say. She took to Instagram to express her opinion under Citius Mag’s post. The athlete wrote, “Wait, my hoo haa is gonna be out.”

Former US Champ Weighs In

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Another athlete, a long distance runner and U.S. National champion, Lauren Fleshman also has a lot to say about the new fear. She took to social media to express her frustration with the women’s uniforms. She wrote, “I’m sorry, but show me one WNBA or NWSL team who would enthusiastically support this kit.” Her post gathered a lot of attention online and people made several comments as well.

Uniforms May Affect Performance

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In her post, Fleshman suggests that the new uniform might cause distractions for the women, thereby leading to poor performances. “This is for Olympic Track and Field. Professional athletes should be able to compete without dedicating brain space to constant pube vigilance or the mental gymnastics of having every vulnerable piece of your body on display,” she wrote.

No Real Benefits

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Fleshman also argued that the uniforms do not benefit the physical performances of the female athletes. She argued that if it were beneficial, men would be wearing the thong-like uniforms too. “Women’s kits should be in service to performance, mentally and physically. If this outfit were truly beneficial to physical performance, men would wear it,” she wrote.

US Champ Expresses Disappointment

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The long distance runner rounded up her post, expressing her disappointment for the women’s uniforms. She emphasized that they are anything but elite for the tracks and field athletes. “This is not an elite athletic kit for track and field. This is a costume born of patriarchal forces that are no longer welcome or needed to get eyes on women’s sports. Stop making it harder for half the population @nike @teamusa @usatf.”

Nike Defends Design Choice

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Janett Nichol, Nike’s Vice President of Apparel Innovation, attempted to defend the new uniforms design during a CBS Sports interview. According to her, the controversial gear was tested by athletes during the creation process. Therefore, it will allegedly help them “perform at the highest level.”
Most people ask, “Do the uniforms need to be so revealing to maximize performance? If so, why can’t men also wear them?”

Innovation Vice President Claims High Efficiency

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She continued, “On the apparel side, why it’s a game-changer for us is because we’ve now been able to take athlete insights, along with data, and use that algorithm to create something that allows us to get to a level of specificity, fidelity, and accuracy that we’ve never been able to do before.” However, this controversial design does not seem as ideal as she claims.

Options for the Women

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Competitive pole vaulter and Nike-sponsored athlete, Katie Moon also gave her take on this debateable design. She says that the uniform at the reveal was concerning in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter.
However, she gave a plausible solution for the women. She explained that all women have various options for track and field uniforms. Therefore, they can choose to wear shorts, which would definitely not show genitalia.