The International Swimming Federation, the organization responsible for setting swimming rules at the Olympics, has banned a swim cap designed to better fit black athletes' hair. This move has nothing to do with how the cap performs in competition and seems intended to simply let the world know that the committee is racist.
Swimming caps designed for natural black hair created by a black-owned brand will not be allowed at the Olympics.
The hats, made by Soul Cap, which previously partnered with Alice Dearing, who last week qualified to become the first black female swimmer to represent Team GB at the Olympics, have been rejected by the International Swimming Federation (Fina).
The body said the caps did not fit "the natural form of the head" and to their "best knowledge the athletes competing at the international events never used, neither require … caps of such size and configuration".
Danielle Obe, the founding member of the Black Swimming Association, told the Guardian the ruling underlined the inherent systemic and institutional inequalities around the sport. "We believe that it confirms a lack of diversity in (the sport)," she said. "Aquatic swimming must do better."