Nike Olympic Uniforms Get Social Media Backlash

The Paris Summer Olympics may still be a few months away, but the uniform reveal for the U.S. track and field team is getting a bit of backlash today.

Designed by Nike, yesterday’s first look at the kits—via CitiusMag—showed that “the men’s design looks pretty standard…but the women’s one-piece speed suit features a surprisingly high-cut bikini line,” as reported by The Daily Beast.

Athletes took to social media in agreement.

“I’m sorry, but show me one WNBA or NWSL team who would enthusiastically support this kit,” retired professional track and field athlete Lauren Fleshman posted on Instagram. “This is for Olympic Track and Field. Professional athletes should be able to compete without dedicating brain space to constant pube vigilance or the mental gymnastics of having every vulnerable piece of your body on display. Women’s kits should be in service to performance, mentally and physically. If this outfit was truly beneficial to physical performance, men would wear it.”

The kits for the track and field team were part of the overall release for Team USA, which also included uniforms for basketball, soccer and skateboarding, CBS Sports reported. 

“This is not an elite athletic kit for track and field,” Fleshman continued. “This is a costume born of patriarchal forces that are no longer welcome or needed to get eyes on women’s sports. I’m queer and I’m attracted to female bodies, but I don’t expect or enjoy seeing female athletes or male athletes put in a position to battle self-consciousness at their place of work. That is not part of the job description. I lived that life and know that excellence is born of unselfconsciousness, of freedom and embodiment of action and instinct. Stop making it harder for half the population @nike @teamusa @usatf.”

Additional comments on the CitiusMag account followed suit.

“Did anyone consult a woman on this race kit…? 🤔” one run coach asked.

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