A Black-owned brand that makes swim caps has not been certified for use as swimming gear in the upcoming Tokyo Olympics. The report was published by Metro on Wednesday.
The Federation for International Water Sports Competitions, or FINA, arrived at the decision to ban Soul Cap, the swim cap brand in question. The International Committee for the Olympics recognizes FINA and its certifications. The report states that FINA never knew of athletes competing in international events using similarly sized or configured swim caps. They added that the swim cap does not follow the head’s natural form.
Allegations Of Racism Over Ban Of Swim Caps
In 2017, Soul Cap was created with the aim to design swim caps that suit natural hair. It would allow athletes to not struggle with the size of caps or damaging the hair. After the decision, Soul Cap posted on social platforms expressing how disappointed they were in the decision. Furthermore, they thought that it questioned the sport’s inclusivity.
Michael Chapman and Toks Ahmed said that they had hoped to further their work regarding diversity among swimmers by having their swim caps receive certification. These would have let younger swimmers feel more included, which would have helped their passion for the sport as well. As such, the recent dismissal by FINA may discourage many such young athletes from seeking a career in swimming.
They added that they continue to hope for improvement. However, such efforts need the cooperation of the topmost authorities. They regard it as a conversation for making more of a difference. They said their primary goal is to increase the participation of Black athletes in swimming. The founders had talked with athletes and understood that they were facing an actual problem because of the lack of such equipment.