Pop singer Pink has stepped into the controversy over the Norwegian women's beach handball team wearing shorts instead of bikini bottoms at a tournament in Bulgaria and offered to pay their fines.
The sport’s governing European Handball Federation slapped a €1,500 fine - €150 per player – after the team wore "improper clothing" during a 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 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
Tweeting on Sunday, three-time Grammy winner Pink said, "I’m VERY proud of the Norwegian female beach handball team FOR PROTESTING THE VERY SEXIST RULES ABOUT THEIR 'uniform,’"
The 41-year-old added, "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 team was quick to thank the singer, and said in a statement, "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.
The Norwegian women's handball team were just fined for wearing shorts instead of bikini bottoms at the European Beach Handball Championships.— The Female Lead (@the_female_lead) July 25, 2021
Men's handball team uniform vs women's handball team uniform. pic.twitter.com/0sBPH1UlN1
Last week Norwegian Volleyball Federation president Eirik Sordahl said, "In 2021, it shouldn’t even be an issue."
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," it added.
The Norwegian Women's Beach Handball team is facing fines for wanting to wear shorts instead of bikini bottoms. The bottoms are not to cover "more than 10cm on any sides."— Billie Jean King (@BillieJeanKing) July 20, 2021
The men’s team wears shorts.
The sexualization of women athletes must stop. https://t.co/IZEzbrE0Iw
The bikini issue has been debated in beach sports circles for years as some players find wearing them degrading or simply impractical, according to reports.
The International Volleyball Federation updated its own rules in 2012, and athletes competing in the sport at this month’s Olympics in Tokyo can choose to play in bikinis or one-piece bathing suits or shorts and T-shirts.