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“If you have a body, you are an athlete”

On+March+7th+Nike+introduced+their+upcoming+release+of+The+Nike+Pro+Hijab.+The+product+is+said+to+release+Spring+of+2018.+But%2C+the+announcement+has+already+created+a+social+statement.+
On March 7th Nike introduced their upcoming release of The Nike Pro Hijab. The product is said to release Spring of 2018. But, the announcement has already created a social statement.

On March 7th Nike introduced their upcoming release of The Nike Pro Hijab. The product is said to release Spring of 2018. But, the announcement has already created a social statement.

Courtesy of Public Domain use of Nike

Courtesy of Public Domain use of Nike

On March 7th Nike introduced their upcoming release of The Nike Pro Hijab. The product is said to release Spring of 2018. But, the announcement has already created a social statement.

Paola Espinosa, Reporter

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Becoming a respected and accepted woman athlete is difficult on its own, but when you are held back by your ethnicity or religious beliefs, it becomes a bigger pill to swallow.  Many US companies tend to hold themselves back because their release of products that “promote” other religious beliefs or break the norms of society could potentially be seen as politically-sensitive, even when they don’t mention politics at all. Products and ads like the ones featuring Muslims are seen as political statements against President Trump.

Last weeks Nike “Pro Hijab” introduction  has already caused extensive buzz all over social media.

Many have a hatred towards Nike’s new product and claim that they will “never buy a Nike product again” because they believe that it ashes on the “subjugation, domination, and oppression of women”. Amna Al Haddad, one of the designers and testers of Nike Pro Hijab, confronted the adverse reaction by saying, “I do realize there is a lot of mixed reactions as to why Nike decided to create such a product. It is a recent phenomenon where more women have expressed a need for it and more professional athletes have fought for rights to compete with a headscarf, and have an equal playing field. We made it big in the news, we couldn’t be ignored”.

We are said to live in a country where everyone is created equal no matter their race, gender or beliefs but when companies try to promote that same idea on a bigger platform it is looked down upon by society and many of the responses toward Nike’s announcement reflected that quite clearly. A commentator called “Blue Pizza” responded to an article on Heat Street, saying, “I wish western companies would not cooperate with sharia by making such products. Is the future of western civilization worth the minor percentage of Nike’s profits these products represent?”

Nike’s Pro Hijab was not meant to become such a huge a political statement, Nike just wanted to promote that nothing should hold a women back from being a successful athlete because they train just as hard as men.

Lugo students on the other hand are inspired by Nike’s announcement and hope that it will widen and strengthen the playing field for women athletes. Dancer, Emily Navas says, “I hope Muslim women will now feel more comfortable and gain confidence because that will no longer stop them from playing the sport that they love”. Many women feel discouraged because of the labels that society gives them but the hope of Nike’s new product is that it will bring a ray of confidence among women athletes because they are all strong, powerful and are able to conquer their goals because their ethnicity, religion, ect. does not limit their abilities.

Many other commentators are also calling The Pro Hijab a game-changer that will conduct attention and create a voice to all the Muslim women who are being keep out of sports because of regulations and social shame against competing while wearing a hijab. The ESPN columnist, Kavitha A. Davidson said, “While it shouldn’t take a major global brand to ‘legitimize’ the inclusion of women of all faiths in sports, it certainly can’t hurt”. The Al Arabiya English Sport called it a, “cultural shift that has seen more women than ever embracing sport”. It also acknowledges the involvement of all the women in sports. This new stepping stone for women will hopefully make a change in societies views of what is considered normal.

Although this is a huge step for women, there are still many barriers to conquer not only for Muslim women, but all women athletes so that they can balance out the playing field. The Nike Pro Hijab was designed and tested by weight lifter, Amna Al Haddad and figure skater Zarhra Lari, who believes that with this new product many women will have the ability to become competitive athletes without feeling discouraged because of their religion. Davidson shares, “Now that Nike has released this line of headgear, the hope is that FIBA, and the sports world at large, will start making Muslim woman a priority, too,” Nike believes that “If you have a body, you are an athlete”. Their Nike Pro Hijab will become available Spring of 2018.

 

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"WE HEAR YOU!"
“If you have a body, you are an athlete”