Why Pink Offered to Pay Fines for a Norwegian Women’s Handball Team

When you think about the musician Pink, handball probably doesn’t come to mind. The singer is very athletic (she has to be to perform aerial acrobatics at her shows), but she’s not a professional handball player.

So, why did the pop star want to pay the fines for a Norwegian women’s handball team? Here’s everything you need to know about why the team got fined and how Pink offered to help. 

Pink performs aerial acrobatics on stage while singing.
Pink | Mauricio Santana/Getty Images

The Norwegian women’s handball team refused to wear ‘sexist’ uniforms

According to The Guardian, The Norwegian women’s handball team received a fine from the European Handball Federation (the sport’s governing body) for wearing “improper clothing” at the European Beach Handball Championships. Each team member received a €150 fine (about $178), for a total fine of €1,500 (about $1,780).

The rules of the game have very specific uniform regulations. Women have to wear a sports bra and bikini bottoms while playing any official games. Men, on the other hand, may wear shorts and a shirt. 

The women on the Norwegian team protested the uniform rules by wearing shorts instead of the required bikini bottoms. 

Pink voiced her support for the team on Twitter

On July 24, Pink tweeted her support for the team and even offered to pay their fines, calling the sport’s uniform rules sexist. 

“I’m VERY proud of the Norwegian female beach handball team FOR PROTESTING THE VERY SEXIST RULES ABOUT THEIR “uniform”. The European handball federation SHOULD BE FINED FOR SEXISM. Good on ya, ladies. I’ll be happy to pay your fines for you. Keep it up.”

Although Pink does not appear to have any personal connection to the team or the sport, she disagreed with the fines and wanted to be a part of making the situation right. 


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Twitter users and the Norwegian Handball Federation agreed with Pink

Twitter users were quick to agree with Pink and the Norwegian team in the comments of Pink’s tweet.  

One user wrote, “Interesting that the men don’t have to wear tiny bottoms for this or beach volleyball. If they can maneuver just fine in swim trunks, women should be able to wear similar.  It’s all about sexist who want to see as much of the woman’s body as they can.”

Another Twitter user pointed out that the uniform rules are likely based on misogyny rather than performance enhancement. “The women’s bikini bottom needs to be high cut, to the hip bone, on the side. It makes it so that the back part turns into a string, when they start doing athletic moves. Far from being a sport equipment enhancing performances, it’s one made to exploit women’s sexuality.”

After the incident, the Norwegian Handball Federation showed support for their team’s choice by covering the women’s fines. So, it seems that Pink did not end up actually paying anything, despite her offer. On Instagram, the team posted the news that the European Handball Federation donated the fines back to the Norwegian Handball Federation.

The team captioned the post, “Babysteps👣 It feels so good to know that we have EHFs support, and we believe that a change is in motion🌈 We can not wait💪🏻 Thank you for all the support – you are amazing 💛”