DETROIT (WWJ) – Nike is set to release something new in the world of sports apparel — designed exclusively for female Muslim athletes.

According to reports, Nike has confirmed a recent viral video campaign that featured female Middle Eastern athletes was a precursor to the launch of a new Nike Pro Hijab line — designed to allow women to compete in sports while staying covered.

“The Nike Pro Hijab may have been more than a year in the making, but its impetus can be traced much further back, to an ongoing cultural shift that has seen more women than ever embracing sport,” a statement from Nike read. “This movement first permeated international consciousness in 2012, when a hijabi runner took the global stage in London.”

As part of Muslim beliefs, the hijab — which, unlike the niqab or burka, covers the hair and neck but not the face — must be worn when in the presence of any males who are not family members. This would obviously include during athletic activities.

The company says the product, which of course features the iconic Nike swoosh, is “crafted with a mesh-like material, made for breathability and optimal function.”

Western Michigan University student Neda Mohiedeen, who wears tge hijab, says while she wouldn’t spend the money on the Nike brand product just for working out, it’s cool that they’re making it.

“Definitely,” she told WWJ Newsradio 950’s Zahra Huber. “We need positive things to happen towards hajabis with everything going on.”

Social media had been abuzz about the product, with Muslims by the dozens saying they look forward to trying the it. There are also plenty of detractors, however; one man tweeting, “Congrats to Nike for normalizing the oppression of women with the ‘Nike Pro Hijab’ while claiming the moral high ground. So progressive.”

Catherine Sareini of Dearborn, who wears the hijab, says she feels sorry for those who can’t see that this is a good thing, “all about inclusion and unity.”

“Women in hijab are already competing in sports all over the world,” Sareini said. “The fact that Nike is supporting us is great.”

Fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad made headlines and history during last year’s during the Rio Olympics when she became the first U.S. athlete to compete in a hijab.

Nike says hijab-wearing pro athletes helped design and test the product. The Pro Hijab is planned to go on sale in Spring 2018. There was no immediate word on the price.


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