Nike's New Sports Hijab Sparks Conversation on Commercialism and Muslim Women

March 8th 2017

Almie Rose

When Hend Amry heard the news that Nike was making hijabs for female athletes, the Libyan-American commentator mourned the news on Twitter. "This is horrible!" she tweeted. "I've been successfully using hijab as an excuse to avoid running for years."

Joking aside, though, some are debating whether the Nike Pro Hijab — set to launch in spring 2018, according to the the Los Angeles Times — is really worth all the fuss.

One issue is that Nike isn't doing anything new, but it's getting all the credit.

One woman on social media pointed out that there are Muslim-run companies which have been making sports hijabs for years, just not with a giant "swoosh" on them.

One of those companies is Asiya, which sells three different kinds of sports hijabs on its website. "Our mission is to help enable more Muslim girls & women to be physically active and participate in sports, while upholding their religious and cultural beliefs," the company states on its mission page. Additionally, all of their products are made in the United States, which Nike cannot guarantee, as they have factories all over the world

And that's only one company. There are more:

Another issue is the placement of the iconic Nike swoosh.

The Nike logo is predominant on the hijab. Al Jazeera's Malika Bilal expressed mixed feelings about the whole thing.

Her followers expressed differing viewpoints:

Nike's official statement about their sports hijab, according to the Los Angeles Times, credits the decision to release the product now to "an ongoing cultural shift that has seen more women than ever embracing sport." Time will tell if their sports hijab is embraced as well.