Nike Gets Backlash from Athletes Over ‘Sexist’ Track and Field Uniforms

Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Do you wanna see the USA women's track and field uniforms Nike designed for this year's summer Olympics? Because they are revealing. In every sense of the word.

Per the images published by Citius Mag, the men's kit is a fairly standard tank top and spandex shorts set. The kit designed for the women, however, is a one-piece bodysuit with an extremely high-cut bikini bottom in the front. The suits were modeled on mannequins in the pics, presumably because, if a human person had worn the women's kit, the problems would have become immediately apparent—as they were to some of the athletes who will be expected to wear these labia-baring suits.

<h1 class="title">World Athletics Indoor Championships Glasgow 2024 - Day Three</h1><cite class="credit">Michael Steele/Getty Images</cite>

World Athletics Indoor Championships Glasgow 2024 - Day Three

Michael Steele/Getty Images

Quipped Olympic hurdler and sprinter Queen Harrison Claye in the comments, “Hi @europeanwax would you like to sponsor Team USA for the upcoming Olympic Games!? Please and thanks.” Long jumper Tara Davis-Woodhal was more straightforward, writing, “Wait my hoo haa is gonna be out.” Runner Colleen Quigley wrote, “I mean I still wanna make the team but….” And Jaleen Roberts commented, “This mannequin is standing still and everything’s showing… imagine MID FLIGHT 😭.”

It wasn't all jokes, however. Former US national champion Lauren Fleshman took to her own Instagram to point out the obvious sexism at play here. “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,” she wrote, calling the uniforms, “a costume born of patriarchal forces that are no longer welcome or needed to get eyes on women’s sports.”

This is not a new issue, either. In 2021 the Norwegian women's beach handball team was fined for wearing shorts instead of bikini bottoms at the Euro 2021 tournament, per NBC News. Also in 2021 the German women's Olympic gymnastics team wore full-coverage unitards rather than the typical leotards, per Sports Illustrated, as a way of protesting the sexualization of women in the sport.

United States Track and Field (USTAF) has said in a statement that these uniforms are only two options out of many that athletes will be able to choose from, according to France24. I only hope that the association also provides industrial-strength fashion tape for those who do opt for the Nike high-cut one-piece.

Originally Appeared on Glamour