Pop singer Pink has offered to poney up the cash to pay the fines handed down to members of Norway’s women’s beach handball team for wearing shorts instead of bikini bottoms.
The sport’s governing European Handball Federation imposed a $1,770 fine — $177 per player — for what it labelled “improper clothing” worn during the bronze medal game against Spain during the European Beach Handball Championships in Bulgaria.
“I’m VERY proud of the Norwegian female beach handball team FOR PROTESTING THE VERY SEXIST RULES ABOUT THEIR ‘uniform,’” the singer said in a post on Twitter. “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,” the three-time Grammy winner wrote.
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
The Norwegian team applauded Pink’s actions. “Thank you so much for the support. We really appreciate all the love we have received. You’re the best,” the players wrote on Instagram, where they posed for a team shot in their shorts.
In a statement, Norway’s Handball Federation said: “We are very proud of these girls who are at the European Championships in beach handball. 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.”
The team’s decision to wear shorts instead of bikini bottoms drew headlines across the world. “Ahead of the tournament, Norway asked the EHF for permission to play in shorts but were told that breaches of the rules were punishable by fines. They complied, until their last match,” CBS News reported.
Martine Welfler, one of the Norwegian players stated, “I don’t see why we can’t play in shorts,” The New York Times reported. “With so much body shaming and stuff like that these days, you should be able to wear a little bit more when you play.” Players Tonya Lurstaad and Julia Bird, appearing on “Lorraine,” said, “We wanted to make a statement and change the regulation.”
Abid Raja, Norway’s Minister for Culture and Sports, called the fine “completely ridiculous,” the Daily Mail noted, adding, “What a change of attitude is needed in the macho and conservative international world of sport.” Kare Geir Lio, the head of the Norwegian Handball Federation, said Norway had complained about the bikini bottom requirement since 2006, adding, “Nothing has happened.”
Norwegian politician Lena Westgaard-Halle tweeted, “Can you please stop the forced bikini nonsense at your beach handball games? It is embarrassing, disgraceful and sexist. You are ruining both the sport and your own reputation.”
“International Handball Federation (IHF) rules state ‘female athletes must wear bikini bottoms’ and that these must have ‘a close fit,’ be ‘cut on an upward angle toward the top of the leg’ and a side depth of no more than 10 centimeters,” CBS News reported.
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