share

Some think the Nike Pro Hijab is oppressive

Olympic weightlifter Amna Al Haddad defends the sports hijab

By Verinia Khoo | Published: 14 Mar 2017

Nike's hijab is bad?
Photo: amna.s.alhaddad/Instagram

Plenty of people were excited when Nike announced its upcoming athletic-wear hijab that was co-designed and tested by figure skater Zahra Lari and weightlifter Amna Al Haddad. But there were also some people who thought Nike was "cashing in on the subjugation, domination, oppression of women" with the hijab.

This prompted Amna to pen an open letter, stating her support for Nike and the hijab. "I do realise there is a lot of mixed reactions as to why Nike decided to create such a product 'now'," she began.

"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," Amna wrote.

"As Muslim women, we have been vocal in the media about it – personally since 2011 – the big guys can't help but notice us 'the underdogs' and our impact in the sports industry and world," she continued. "They know that we are here to stay and decided to join the party and create another 'competitive' sport hijab in the market, which by the way, did exist in the market for few years now."

"I support Muslim women with or without hijab, and how they dress is their choice. And with the Nike Sports Hijab, it surely will encourage a new generation of athletes to pursue sports professionally, and without us athletes who fought for this right and made it happen, Nike wouldn't 'just do it'", she said.

Read her full letter below.

 

With the Nike Pro Hijab Launch, I do realize there is a lot of mixed reactions as to why Nike decided to create such a product “now.” __ From my perspective as a former athlete who competed in Hijab, in the past, the big brands didn’t see the need or market for it as it was not “popular” and it was unheard of to see women train, exercise and compete in hijab. __ 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. __ As Muslim women, we have been vocal in the media about it – personally since 2011 – the big guys can’t help but notice us “the underdogs” and our impact in the sports industry and world. They know that we are here to stay and decided to join the party and create another “competitive” sport hijab in the market, which by the way, did exist in the market for few years now. __ As an innovative company, they will create products and they will meet market needs – whatever they may be. It is not dismissing any other hard work done in the past to develop sports hijabs, it’s just there is more competition in the market for modest clothing now. __ I support Muslim women with or without hijab, and how they dress is their choice. And with the Nike Sports Hijab, it surely will encourage a new generation of athletes to pursue sports professionally, and without us athletes who fought for this right and made it happen, Nike wouldn’t “just do it.” __ Ps. This is purely my opinion on the matter, not paid for or asked to be written. Much Love, -Amna

A post shared by آمنة الحداد Amna Al Haddad 🇦🇪 (@amna.s.alhaddad) on

Related: Nike is releasing an athletic-wear hijab


Most Popular

Advertisement

MORE, MORE, MORE

Chanel's new watches

Chanel's new watches

The fashion house showcased the new Mademoiselle Chanel J12 alongside other gorgeous timepieces at Baselworld 2017

Jon for Bulgari

Jon for Bulgari

Actor and model Jon Kortajarena is Bulgari's new global watch ambassador

Burch apologises

Burch apologises

'Tory Story: An American Road Trip', starring Poppy Delevingne, failed to include a woman of colour

ELLE Instagram
Advertisement
#TFW Gucci

#TFW Gucci

The campaign celebrates the launch of the new Le Marché des Merveilles watch collection

ELLE Instagram