WTH, Olympics? Four issues we want to talk to the manager about…

  • Action #1: “Natural form of the head.” Whose head are we talking about exactly? #BlackGirlsDon’tSwim
  • Action #2: Ask the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) to find their heart for Sha’Carri Richardson
  • Action #3: Ask the President of the International Olympic Committee to do better for Brianna McNeal.
  • Action #4: Have Gwen Berry’s back.
  • Action #4a: New petition to IOC sponsors from Color of Change – Companies must denounce IOC Rule 50

Not all the actions below target our usual suspects of state and federal legislators. But, like the actions of our politicians, international events like the Olympics can have profound effects that empower or disaffect Americans. So, being “indivisible,” when something bad, or really dumb occurs, we try to figure out what we can do about it.

Action #1: “Natural form of the head.” Whose head are we talking about exactly? #BlackGirlsDon’tSwim

We are pretty sure that the International Swimming Federation (FINA), which casually declined to certify a swim cap that accommodated Black hair, is now searching desperately for a face-saving exit strategy. In fact, by the time you read this, they may have already done so, as they just issued a statement: “FINA is committed to ensuring that all aquatics athletes have access to appropriate swimwear for competition where this swimwear does not confer a competitive advantage. FINA is currently reviewing the situation with regards to ‘Soul Cap’ and similar products, understanding the importance of inclusivity and representation.

Although FINA will allow these caps for recreational and teaching purposes, not seeing Black athletes wearing this inclusive accommodation in competition and on the medal podiums, continues the disenfranchisement of Black children and adults from swimming pools, and the literally life-saving benefits that learning to swim conveys.

Contact: If they don’t figure out how to reel this back in soon, write FINA here: sportsdep@fina.org

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