Pink offers to pay bikini bottoms fine given to beach handball team

Pink is offering to pay for fines given to the Norway’s women’s beach handball team after they refused to wear bikini bottoms during their bronze-medal match at the European Beach Handball Championship. 

The three-time Grammy Award winner wrote on Twitter on Saturday that she’s supportive of the Norwegian team for protesting the rules, even offering to pay for their penalty. 

“I’m VERY proud of the Norwegian female beach handball team FOR PROTESTING THE VERY SEXIST RULES ABOUT THEIR “uniform”” she wrote. “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.” 

The team thanked everyone for their support in a post on Instagram, saying, “You’re the best.”  

“We really appreciate all the love we have received,” the team said. 

The Disciplinary Committee of the European Handball Federation (EHF) fined the Norway team 1,500 euros ($1,768), or 150 euros per player last Monday, for “improper clothing” after they wore shorts in their loss to Spain at the European Beach Handball Championship. 

Clothing has long been an issue in beach sports, with some women players finding bikinis degrading or impractical. While bikinis have not been compulsory for beach volleyball players since 2012, International Handball Federation (IHF) rules state “female athletes must wear bikini bottoms” and that these must have “a close fit,” be “cut on an upward angle toward the top of the leg” and a side depth of no more than 10 centimeters. Male players wear shorts.

Ahead of the tournament, Norway asked the EHF for permission to play in shorts, but were told that breaches of the rules were punishable by fines. They complied, until their last match. 

“The EHF is committed to bring this topic forward in the interest of its member federations, however it must also be said that a change of the rules can only happen at IHF level,” EHF spokesman Andrew Barringer said.