Track And Field Olympic Athletes Call Out Nike Over ‘Sexist’ Uniforms 

US Track & Field female athletes are calling out Nike over their uniform kits for the Olympics, stating that the uniforms leave them very exposed, especially compared to the men’s uniforms, ahead of the summer Games.

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Nike’s new US Track and Field uniform kits for the summer Olympic Games have been called out by the female athletes for how much more covered-up the male athlete uniforms are.

Lauren Fleshman, a former professional runner, made a post online making a side-by-side comparison of the two uniforms and calling out the difference between how covered-up the male uniforms are versus the female uniforms, according to reports

The male uniforms have thigh-length shorts and a sleeveless top, while the female uniforms look like a one-piece bathing suit with small bottoms that just cover the groin area. Fleshman stated that the outfits are an example of the patriarchy’s continuous existence in 2024, and that female athletes should be free to compete without the risk of being sexualized. 

“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,” she stated.

“If this outfit was truly beneficial to physical performance, men would wear it. This is not an elite athletic kit for track and field. This is a costume born of patriarchal forces that are no longer welcome or needed to get eyes on women’s sports.”

Former athlete Dan O’Brien, however, stated that the uniforms themselves are just two examples of the sportswear that the competitors can choose from. 

“Before you tear this thing apart, know that each athlete gets three or four different iterations of the uniform. If you don’t like short tights you get regular shorts if you don’t like the one piece you get a singlet and shorts or a singlet and short tights don’t get crazy about seeing one piece of a uniform that athletes are gonna get four or five choices from,” O’Brien said, according to The Independent 

Individuals online have had mixed feelings, paralleling the two points made from Fleshman and O’Brien. 

The Independent published that one person wrote “there is no possible reason for that design. It has no function. While you look at the men’s, their groin area is suitably covered and supported. Women’s kits should be similar to the men’s in functionality and look.”

Katie Moon, a Nike-sponsored pole vaulter, posted on Instagram that while she understands the concerns over the outfit, no one is  being forced to wear it, and they have other options as well. 

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“I absolutely love people defending women, but we have at least 20 different combinations of a uniform to compete in with all the tops and bottoms available to us. We DO have the men’s option available to us if we want it.”

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“When you attack the buns and crop top saying something along the lines of it’s ‘exist’ (which if that was our only choice, it would be), even if it’s with the best of intentions, you’re ultimately attacking our decision as women to wear it.

If you honestly think that on the most important days of our careers we’re choosing what we wear to appease the men watching over what we’re most comfortable and confident in, to execute to the best of our abilities, that’s pretty offensive

I personally like the buns because I want as little fabric clinging to me when I’m hot and sweaty (which I am at 99% of meets I compete in),” Moon posted

Nike spoke with Reuters and told them that competitors will have uniform kits with 50 different apparel pieces and 12 various competition styles they can choose from. They also stated that the unitard will be made available with briefs and shorts. 

“We will also have tailoring options available for Olympic and Paralympic athletes at the games,” Nike told The Independent