Nike Designs Hijab for Muslim Athletes

Category : Sports

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. apparel / əˈpær əl / (n) – clothes

    That shop only sells sports apparel.

  2. breathable / ˈbri ðə bəl / (adj) – allowing air to pass through

    You should buy baby diapers made from breathable material.

  3. attest / əˈtɛst / (v) – to show or say that something is true

    Many customers attest that the product is good.

  4. besides / bɪˈsaɪdz / (adv) – in addition to

    Besides volleyball, she also likes playing badminton.

  5. sentiment / ˈsɛn tə mənt / (n) – a feeling or thought

    She listened to her best friend’s sentiments about her recent break-up.


Read the text below.

Sports apparel maker Nike /ˈnaɪ ki/ has designed a hijab for Muslim athletes.

Wearing the headscarf called hijab is a way for many Muslim women to show their faith, but some athletes reported that regular hijabs affect their performance at competitions. In response to this problem, Nike created the Nike Pro Hijab. Unlike a regular headscarf, the Pro Hijab uses flexible, breathable, and lightweight fabric. The product, which will be widely available starting 2018, can be used in different sports.

According to Nike, the product was a result of a 13-month design process, which involved consulting with Muslim athletes from all over the world. Since the announcement of the product, the Pro Hijab has attracted several athletes who participate in sports such as weightlifting, track and field, and figure skating.

The Pro Hijab is already being used by Emirati figure skater Zahra Lari, who starred in Nike’s commercial about diversity. She attested that it has a good fit, which makes it ideal for skating. She said that besides the Pro Hijab, very few hijab designs suited her sport.

Other Muslim athletes shared Lari’s sentiment. While the Pro Hijab has quickly become popular, Nike is not the first to create hijabs for sports. Previously, athletes have tried to make their own sports hijab by raising funds or by partnering with small sports apparel companies.

In 2016, Oregon-based company Oiselle [wa-ZELL], which designs clothes specifically for runners, designed a uniform that includes a hijab for Saudi Arabian runner Sarah Attar. Meanwhile, Danish company Hummel included hijabs in the uniforms they released for the Afghanistan women’s soccer team.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

• What are the advantages of the Pro Hijab for Muslim athletes?
• Do you think non-athletes will also buy the product? Why or why not?

Discussion B

• What can sports organizations do to encourage diversity among athletes?
• What can sports brands do to encourage diversity among athletes?

Category : Sports