The Orlando Pride women’s football team has made a groundbreaking move by announcing a change to their second kit’s white shorts to provide increased player comfort during their menstrual cycle. The team has decided to replace the white shorts with black ones to ensure that their players can feel comfortable while playing, without worrying about menstrual leakage.
Midfielder Erika Tymrak applauded the move, describing it as a “big step” for the club. “The reasons behind not wanting to wear white shorts are clear, but it is, unfortunately, something that hasn’t been addressed until recently,” Tymrak said. “I think it’s a big step for us as a Club to make players feel comfortable and allow us to focus solely on competing.”
Orlando Pride is the first NWSL team to address period concerns in this way, hoping to remove the stigma associated with discussing health issues impacting women. The club has highlighted statistics from the Women’s Sports Foundation, which state that girls drop out of sports at twice the rate of boys by the age of 14, with puberty being a contributing factor.
The team hopes that the move will make it easier for young girls to continue playing sports, by providing a more supportive environment. To this end, all girls’ teams within the club’s youth structure will also wear dark shorts for both practice and games.
The NWSL club has pledged to continue providing a “first-class player experience and care” moving forward, ensuring that players feel supported in all aspects of their lives. This move by the Orlando Pride comes as the latest in a series of efforts by sports organizations to address the needs of female athletes better.
In November, the All England Club relaxed its ban on women players wearing coloured underwear at Wimbledon, following calls from players. By making these changes, sports organizations are taking significant strides in promoting gender equality and inclusivity in sports, setting a positive example for all athletes.