The board for water sports says it will reconsider the caps made for Black swimmers after banning them last week.
The upcoming Tokyo 2021 Olympics have been shrouded in a number of racism allegations this week- angering fans with the removal of Sha'Carri Jackson over marijuana use and the banning of Black Lives Matter apparel, though the event may now be trying to retract another allegedly racist rules.
On Wednesday, members of FINA, the board that creates the rules for the Olympic's swimming events, told athletes and fans that they would begin reconsidering inclusively designed swimming caps after halting approval for them last week. The caps in question are made by Soul Cap, and are made specifically for black swimmers and black hairstyles in order to provide more suited cap sizes and delicate use; still, FINA feels they are too unconventional.
In response to widespread criticism on social media and accusations of racist rules, FINA posted a statement on Wednesday on their website: "FINA is committed to ensuring that all aquatics athletes have access to appropriate swimwear for competition where this swimwear does not confer a competitive advantage. FINA is currently reviewing the situation with regards to 'Soul Cap' and similar products, understanding the importance of inclusivity and representation."
Though FINA went on to praise Soul Cap for its dedication to allowing people of all backgrounds enjoy water sports, their decision may not come in time for the caps to be used in Tokyo.
This statement is at odds with a FINA statement released last week, which read: "the athletes competing at the International events never used, neither require to use caps of such size and configuration."
Still, a spokesperson told TMRW that Soul Cap is optimistic for the future: "It’s a positive step that FINA is going to reconsider our swim cap as part of their ‘wider initiatives aimed at ensuring there are no barriers to participation in swimming.'"
Check out the swim caps below.