Kolkata: Women’s Day just got better when leading sports manufacturer Nike unveiled its ‘pro hijab’ for the women Muslim athletes. This means that they can be suitably represented in the world of professional sportswear. “The Nike pro hijab has been a year in the making, but its impetus can be traced much further back to Nike’s founding mission, to serve athletes, with the signature addendum: If you have a body, you’re an athlete,” the brand quoted. Nike which is an America based company has come up with a product which shall be consumed by the Muslims and Sikhs. This is bound to contribute heavily to the goodwill of the leading sports brand.
Wearing a traditional hijab during the sporting events has had its problems since a long time back. They are heavy, they lack in breathability and cannot shift during action. Nike has researched the shortcomings of these hijabs well and it seems that the outcome of the research is successful. The pull-on hijab is made of light, stretchy polyester fabric that comprises of tiny holes for enhanced breathability and an elongated back so it will not become untucked. Athletes have contributed input into the product, and well known skater Zahra Lari was one of them. Lari posted pictures of herself wearing the new pro hijab on her Instagram page. Last year, fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad of New York became the first American Muslim to represent her nation in the Rio Olympics wearing a hijab. She won her nation a bronze medal.
FIFA, the governing body of world football, which had a ban on wearing head coverings formally lifted the ban in 2014, recognising Muslim and Sikh players. On the contrary, the governing body of Basketball, FIBA landed itself into deep trouble when it banned headscarves during international competition.
(With inputs from TOI and Independent)