Nike Criticized For Skimpy Women's Olympic Team Outfit

Nike's design for the US women's team outfit, right, is seen in an image posted to X by @CitiusMag. 

Nike is being called out on social media by both athletes and fans over its outfit design for the U.S. women's Olympic team.

“Images of both the men's and women's outfits dressed on mannequins were made public last week as part of a kit launch ahead of Paris 2024,” per CNN. “The picture of the women's leotard on display had a high-cut bikini line and triggered a wave of criticism.”

Former U.S. track and field athlete Lauren Fleshman wrote in an Instagram post that it is “a costume born of patriarchal forces that are no longer welcome or needed to get eyes on women's sports.”



“The backlash comes less than two months after Nike was scrutinized over its new uniforms for Major League Baseball players, which some said looked see-through and of poor quality,” according to NPR. “This time, Nike's designs were caught in the long-running discourse over sexism in women's sports attire."

Current athletes have expressed concerns over the potential for wardrobe malfunctions. 

“Following the reveal of the showy unitard, athletes quipped that they would definitely need a thorough wax to wear the women's piece,” according to Business Insider. “On the mannequin, at least, the sides of the crotch were on full display. Others wondered if it was even possible to wear the outfit while running, vaulting, or hurdling without risking a major wardrobe malfunction.”

U.S. long jumper Tara Davis-Woodhall initially posted a comment on Instagram which read: "Wait my hoo haa is gonna be out.” But upon further review, the shape of the mannequin or the angle of the photo distorted how the uniforms actually fit on athletes.

Nike told CNN in a statement that the design will be one of a range of styles to choose from. 

Jordana Katcher, Nike’s vice president for global sports apparel, said the company designs all of its track uniforms with significant input from its sponsored athletes, bringing many to the company’s headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon, to tell designers what styles they like best, according toThe Washington Post.

Gabby Thomas, one of the fastest women’s sprinters in the world, said she prefers to run in as little clothing as possible, but was initially stunned when she first saw the photo of the uniform. After studying the image for some time, Thomas said she relaxed.

But other athletes aren’t convinced.

“Olympic hurdler Queen Harrison Claye responded to the post by asking a hair-removal center if it wanted to sponsor Team USA for Paris,” per The Washington Post. “Paralympian Femita Ayanbeku wrote, ‘I’m someone’s Mom, I can’t be exposing myself like that.’”

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