Wimbledon under pressure over female dress code

Wimbledon are considering changing their notoriously strict dress code thanks to pressure from Billie Jean King, as well as a handful of other players. Photos: Getty Images

Wimbledon has indicated that its dress code for players may be changed amid continued pressure to ease anxiety among players. players who might menstruate during the tournament.

The The All England club’s notoriously strict all-white dress code has long been a bone of contention for players, many of whom have publicly stated that they chose to skip their rules for Wimbledon to save themselves the risk of embarrassment.

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The dress code requires all players, including women, to wear white underwear – Romania’s Mihaela Buzarnescu being forced to change her bra before her first round match at Wimbledon in 2022 because it was red.

Many other players, including Australian Daria Saville and former champion Monica Puig, as well as Judy Murray, have spoken out against Wimbledon’s strict all-white dress policy in the past.

The All-England Club is reportedly considering relaxing this rule following recent comments from tennis legend Billie Jean King, who told CNN it was simply unfair to add a totally unnecessary layer of stress to players.

“My generation, we’ve always worried because we wear white all the time. And it’s what you wear underneath that’s important for your period,” she told CNN.

“And we always check if we’re showing. You’re uptight about that because the first thing we are is artists and you want everything you wear to be flawless, to look great. We’re artists. bring to the people.”

King’s comments, combined with pressure from players as well as some protesters at this year’s grand slam, appear to be changing the minds of organizers.

The All England Club issued a statement shortly after King’s interview gained traction, saying it was working with stakeholders on the best way forward.

“Prioritizing women’s health and supporting players based on their individual needs is very important to us, and we are in discussions with the WTA, with manufacturers and with medical teams on ways to do this,” says the press release.

Players speak out against Wimbledon’s strict dress code

While players understand that Wimbledon’s white dress code helps it stand out from the other three Grand Slam tournaments, which do not impose such a requirement, there has been strong pressure for Wimbledon to adopt common sense on the question.

Saville was among those who spoke out, admitting she skipped her period at Wimbledon for fear a red mark would inadvertently be revealed, despite her penchant for white uniforms.

“Recently just at Wimbledon, I was talking with my friends saying I like the all white look. But then a couple of girls said they hated it because it sucks to wear white while on your period,” he said. she declared.

“It’s true, I myself had to skip my period around Wimbledon, for the reason that I didn’t want to worry about bleeding, because we already have enough other stress.”

Olympic golf medalist Puig echoed Saville’s comments in a post on Twitter during the grand slam earlier this year.

Similarly, Judy Murray, the mother and coach of Scottish champion Andy Murray, said she hoped more players would speak up about the potentially “traumatic” rule.

“I think it’s certainly a much more open topic of discussion, but probably more players need to talk openly about the trauma it can cause you, if you’re wearing all white and you possibly have a leak while you play.. I can’t think of a much more traumatic experience than that,” she said.

Protesters also attended this year’s Wimbledon tournament, holding up red-painted signs that read ‘meet the dress code’.

“You feel like you can breathe and don’t have to check everything every minute when you sit down and switch sides,” King added when asked about wearing darker underwear.

“So at least that was brought to the fore, which I think is important to have a discussion.”

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