Singer Pink has long used her fame and voice to champion many causes, whether it’s donating $500,000 to hurricane victims in 2017 or creating an initiative with UNICEF in 2018 to raise money and promote the well-being of women and children worldwide. Seems the 2021 Billboard Music Icon Award winner is still championing women and now speaking out about the hypocrisy in sports.
Over the weekend, the “Beautiful Trauma” singer tweeted her support for the Norwegian female beach handball team, offering to pay their fines for wearing shorts instead of the tournament-sanctioned biking bottoms.
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
As reported in Daily Mail, the Norwegian female beach handball team was “slapped with fines because its members wore shorts instead of bikini bottoms for a championship match in Bulgaria.” The outrage came swift and fast as the story went viral as celebrities and sports fans alike, including Billie Jean King, labeled the European Handball Federation (EHF) sexist and calling them out on their hypocrisy.
kind of incredible to see the difference in the uniforms for the Norwegian men and women’s beach handball teams (as required, inexplicably, by the International Handball Federation) https://t.co/aenC5u99Nw pic.twitter.com/Wkyh6W9Xb0
— Natasha Frost (@natashamfrost) July 21, 2021
The EHF Disciplinary Committee fined the team €1,500 (or about $1,766), or €150 ($176) per player. Pink might not get the chance to pay those fines as Norwegian Handball Federation president Kare Geir Lio spoke to AFP on Monday saying,
‘Of course we would pay any fine. We are all in the same boat.’
More Norwegian officials also spoke out in support of the Norwegian athletes. Norway’s Minister for Culture and Sports, Abid Raja, tweeted
‘It’s completely ridiculous. What a change of attitude is needed in the macho and conservative international world of sport.’
Raja then tweeted Pink thanking her for her support,
Thankyou for your support P!nk! As Minister of sports and equality in Norway I have sent letter to all nordic ministers of sports for a joint statement to support our women. I hope all the fans and friends you have give all their support as well,so we can change this stupid rule! https://t.co/18O5ugC2MD
— Abid Raja (@abidraja) July 25, 2021
The team took to their Instagram over the weekend thanking everyone for their support,
Due to the huge amount of backlash received EHF President Michael Wiederer released a statement saying,
‘I can confirm that the EHF will do all it can to ensure that a change of athlete uniform regulations can be implemented. Significant efforts will be made in order to further promote the sport in the best way possible for everyone, regardless of gender.’
Followers of Pink thanked her for her support and demand a change in the way females athletes are treated. Wonder if there will be any changes to the “uniform” requirements for women athletes in the near future. Until then as Pink sings in Raise Your Glass, “we will never be anything but loud!”
Here’s the European Handball Federation committee responsible for the decision.
Hang on – who let that woman in? pic.twitter.com/WqQbVKQFqx
— andrew crosthwaite (@acrosthwaite) July 26, 2021
Guys vs Girls uniform… notice the difference 😩 pic.twitter.com/co3koYNuUG
— GCN (@Gilocono) July 26, 2021
Way to go! Women shouldn’t have to wear bikinis to play beach handball. If men can wear short so can the women!
— Kathleen Hays (@cheahwa) July 25, 2021
Sources: Daily Mail