The International Swimming Federation (FINA) said swim caps designed for natural dark hair were banned from use at this summer’s Tokyo Olympics, BBC News reports.
Driving the news: Soul Cap, the black-owned UK company that manufactured the caps, told the BBC that FINA argued that the hats “do not” conform to the natural shape of the head “and” better knowledge, athletes competing in international events have never used them, nor require the use of caps of this size and configuration. “
- Soul Cap filed a request last year with the group to have its products officially recognized.
- The company recently teamed up with Alice Dearing, the first black swimmer to make the British Olympic team.
What they say : “For young swimmers, feeling included and seen in a sport at a young age is crucial. The recent FINA layoff could discourage many young athletes from playing the sport as they progress in local competitive swimming,” regional and national, ”Soul Cap Toks co-founders Ahmed and Michael Chapman said in a statement.
- “We think there is always room for improvement, but there isn’t a lot that small and small brands can do – we need the top to be receptive to positive change,” said they added.
FINA’s decision received a backlash, with Danielle Obe, founding member of the Black Swimming Association, telling the Guardian that this “confirms a lack of diversity in [the sport]. “
- Obe said the original swim cap was created to keep Caucasian hair from sticking to swimmers’ faces, and added that the caps don’t work for dark hair because they “defy gravity.”
- “We need the space and volume that products like Soul Caps allow. Inclusiveness is realizing that no head shape is ‘normal’,” Obe added.
But, but, but: FINA later issued a statement saying that it “is currently reviewing the situation with regard to ‘Soul Cap’ and similar products, understanding the importance of inclusiveness and representation.”
- FINA did not completely overturn the ban, but encouraged the use of the caps “for recreational and educational purposes.” He also said he would speak with Soul Cap to use their caps at the “FINA Development Centers”.