"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 continued. Posing in their shorts over the weekend, the Norwegian athletes appreciated the solidarity, writing, "Thank you so much for all the support. We really appreciate all the love we have received." The team also thanked P!nk in their Instagram Story on Sunday, re-posting the singer's comment and writing, "WOW! Thank you so much for the support," alongside lightning bolt and heart emoji.
A statement from the governing EHF body explained that, "The Disciplinary Commission at the Beach Handball EURO 2021 has dealt with a case of improper clothing. In the bronze medal game against Spain on Sunday [July 18] the team of Norway played with shorts that are not according to the Athlete Uniform Regulations defined in the [International Handball Federation's] Beach Handball Rules of the Game."
Asked by the New York Times why women are required to wear bikini bottoms "with a close fit and cut on an upward angle toward to the top of the leg," while men can wear more free-flowing shorts that go to the knees," a spokeswoman for the International Handball Federation, Jessica Rockstroh, told the paper last week that she did not know the reason for the rules. “We’re looking into it internally,” she said.
In the shadow of the Tokyo Olympics currently under way, the flap became an international incident as more female athletes in sports including beach volleyball, tennis, gymnastics and track & field have pushed back at the double standards for male and female athletes.
Check out P!nk's tweet and a comparison of the men's vs. women'a uniforms.