Friday, 24 March, 2017

Nike Introduces The Pro Hijab For Female Muslim Athletes

Nike is set to launch 'Pro Hijab' to help Muslim women take part in sport Nike unveils new 'Pro Hijab' for Muslim female athletes
Lance Thomas | 08 March, 2017, 00:29

The announcement of the Pro Hijab comes a month after Nike launched an ad campaign aimed at Middle Eastern athletes while highlighting the challenges Arab women face in sports.

Nike (NKE) said it began developing the hijab after some Muslim athletes complained about wearing a traditional head scarf during competition.

"This movement first permeated worldwide consciousness in 2012, when a hijabi runner took the global stage in London", the statement adds, referring to Saudi Arabia's Sarah Attar, who competed in the 800 meter race at the 2012 London Olympics.

We are so excited that Nike is not only ensuring full representation of all athletes, regardless of religion, but also standing in solidarity with Muslim female athletes during a time when Muslim representation is needed more than ever.

That runner was Saudi Arabia's Sarah Attar, who along with Emirati weightlifting Olympian Amna Al Haddad, helped inspire the product. "I am covered, I am Muslim", she said.

Nike said that it started to work on the hijab when Muslim female weightlifter Amna Al Haddad visited Nike's sports research lab in OR to discuss problems she had with her own hijabs.

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The initial design will come in dark neutral colors, at the request of the athletes, with its Nike Swoosh coming above the left ear to showcase "the hijab's pinnacle performance nature".

Yet Muslim women who choose to veil have faced hurdles outside religious or national objections - namely, official bans from worldwide associations on religious headgear such as hijabs, turbans and kippot, or yarmulkes, on the grounds of "safety concerns".

Meanwhile, earlier this week it was announced Muslim women can wear "burkinis" while competing in amateur swimming competitions in England. It's made of a lightweight material combined with a single layer of mesh, created to give athletes "optimal breathability" while remaining completely opaque. This is also the main reason why Muslim women are not seen on the global sporting platforms too much.

Nike+ Run Club Coach Manal Rostom models Nike's new product.

According to Nike, the hijab has already been tested out by Emirate figure skater Zahra Lari.

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