This Muslim athlete's got an important message about the Nike Pro Hijab

Emirati weightlifter Amna Al Haddad sets record straight on new product

Entertainment Desk March 20, 2017

It’s been a while since international sports giant Nike announced it would soon be launching the first-ever sportswear headscarf – the Nike Pro Hijab – to help female Muslim athletes indulge in sports. The product has been a year in the making but its impetus can be traced further back to Nike’s founding mission: to serve athletes.

Ever since the news broke, people’s responses over social media have been vocal, to say the least, reported Indy100. But one voice that has emerged as somewhat more relevant is that of Emirati weightlifter Amna Al Haddad. The 27-year-old, along with figure skater Zahra Lari, actually tested Nike’s product, which is due to be launched in 2018.

In response to the online furor, the six-time gold medallist shared a statement on her Facebook and Instagram, along with a powerful picture. “There are 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, the big brands didn’t see the need for it as it was not “popular” back then and it was unheard of to see women train, exercise and compete in hijab,” Amna wrote. “It’s 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.”

“As an innovative company, Nike will create products to meet market needs. It is not dismissing any other hard work done in the past to develop sports hijabs. It’s just that there is more competition in the market for modest clothing now,” the athlete continued. “I support Muslim women with or without hijab and how they dress is their choice. The Nike Pro Hijab will surely encourage a new generation of athletes to pursue sports, and without us athletes who fought for this right and made it happen, Nike wouldn’t ‘just do it’.”

Nike unveils Pro Hijab for Muslim athletes

Speaking of her post, Amna later told FEMAIL, “I felt people were confused. I was inspired to raise awareness that, with such a product, Nike isn't dismissing anyone else's previous work or oppressing women; it is simply including Muslim female athletes who require such a product.”

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