Pink offers to pay fine for Norway women's handball team for wearing shorts

The singer says the European Handball Federation 'should be fined for sexism' as it demands female athletes wear bikini bottoms

Singer Pink poses for photographers upon arrival at the Brit Awards in London, Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2019. (Photo by Joel C Ryan/Invision/AP)

Last week, there was outrage to news that Norway's women's handball team were fined €1,500 ($1,765) for choosing to wear shorts instead of the mandatory bikini bottoms expected at the European Beach Handball Championship.

It seems that the decision also enraged American singer, Pink, born Alecia Moore, as she has offered to pay the fine for the team.

"I'm very proud of the Norwegian female beach handball team for protesting sexist rules about their uniform," the singer wrote on Twitter on Sunday, also saying that the European Handball Federation "should be fined for sexism".

"Good on ya, ladies," she tweeted, "I'll be happy to pay your fines for you. Keep it up."

Last week, a disciplinary commission stated a fine of "€150 per player, for a total of €1,500" would be imposed. The Norwegian Handball Federation had already said it would pay if the players were fined.

The team, however, thanked the singer on Instagram, writing: "Wow! Thank you so much for the support."

Jessica Rockstroh, a spokesperson for the International Handball Federation (IHF), said on Tuesday, July 20 that she did not know the reason for the rules, but that they were "looking into it internally", reported The New York Times.

Rockstroh said the organisation had not received any other official complaints before, only from Norway. "Globally we know that other countries like to play in bikinis, for example, especially in South America."

The move received widespread backlash, being referred to as "sexist" and a "double standard".

The IHF requires women to wear bikini bottoms "with a close fit and cut on an upward angle toward the top of the leg", according to its handbook. Men can wear shorts as long as 3.9 inches above the knee if they are "not too baggy".

The European Handball Federation acknowledged the commotion that the incident had triggered in media outlets and social media, and said Monday that it would donate the amount paid by the Norwegian Handball Federation “to a major international sports foundation which supports equality for women and girls in sports”.

“We are very much aware of the attention the topic has received over the past days, and while changes cannot happen overnight, we are fully committed that something good comes out of this situation right now which is why the EHF has donated the fine for a good cause promoting equality in sports, ” European Handball Federation President Michael Wiederer said in a statement.

– Additional reporting by AP

Updated: July 27th 2021, 3:20 AM
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