Nike To Launch "Nike Pro Hijab" for Female Muslim Athletes

Nike said it came up with the concept after Emirati weightlifter Amna Al Haddad visited its research lab in Oregon US

Nike said it came up with the concept after Emirati weightlifter Amna Al Haddad visited its research lab in Oregon US

When Nike first made a decision to design and make the Nike "Pro-Hijab" for its female Muslim users, they had to look at the fact that the hijab was not the sole reason why Muslim women were hesitant to participate in sports.

But for Manal Rostom, a Nike+ Run Club Coach and an Egyptian athlete, Pro Hijab means something much more: inclusivity and representation.

The Nike Pro Hijab will be available in three colors, black, vast grey, and obsidian, later this year or early in 2018, Nike said. The new product goes under the name Nike Pro Hijab and is created to better deal with problems that traditional hijabs could pose when used in a sports setting, such as being too heavy, too sweaty, or easily coming loose.

"Nike's mission is to bring inspiration and innovation to all athletes", Megan Saalfeld, Global Nike spokeswoman, told Arab News.

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Nike said that it started to work on the hijab when Muslim female weightlifter Amna Al Haddad visited Nike's sports research lab in OR to discuss problems she had with her own hijabs. The athletic wear hijab is a single layer of lightweight polyester, made specifically so it's breathable but also remains opaque, which is a requirement for hijab-wearing women.

Nike's entire campaign and product launch serves to give greater visibility and voice to a burgeoning group of Muslim women who have always been kept off the court and out of the gym and who are silent no more.

"I was thrilled and a bit emotional to see Nike prototyping a Hijab", Lari said in a statement to CNN Money.

"There are barriers for many people to access sport, and some of these barriers are unique to women and girls". A source from Nike told Al Arabiya that this viral video campaign served as a "precursor" to the hijab launch this week. Conversely, the presence of such a ban serves to limit participation, as it did in 2011, when a Federation Internationale de Football Association official denied the Iranian women's national team entry onto the pitch for an Olympic qualifier because they were wearing hijabs.