After a 13-month design process, Nike will sell performance hijabs for Muslim athletes beginning in spring 2018.
The Nike Pro Hijab consists of a single-layer pull-on design made from lightweight polyester in dark, neutral colors. The fabric has small holes to make it breathable while remaining opaque, which is a requirement for people wearing a hijab. The product also has an elongated back, so the top does not get untucked during an athletic event.
Nike began working on this product after complaints from Muslim athletes regarding wearing the traditional scarf during competition.
Nike is the first large sportswear brand to manufacture a product of this nature and has received positive responses from not only Muslim athletes, such as United Arab Emirates figure skater Zahra Lari, but also colleges, universities and professional associations hoping to better accommodate the athletes.
“Can’t believe this is finally here!! I’m super super excited to announce the Nike Pro Hijab,” Lari said on Instagram. “So proud to be part of this incredible journey.”
The excitement for the initiative is not lost within Tulane Athletics, which has accommodated players due to religious beliefs in the past.
Former men’s basketball player Aaron Liberman wore a Tulane yarmulke during both practice and games to follow his religious guidelines, and Tulane will continue to provide these products to accommodate the student athletes.
“Our job here in athletics is to support our student athletes in whatever they may need to compete athletically, to what they need to support them in the classroom and in the community,” Associate Athletics Director for Strategic Communications Scottie Rodgers said. “Our job here is to do that and whatever that may mean to make a student athlete feel comfortable in competing.”