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Nike’s ‘year of the woman’ gets off to a bumpy start with trans sports bra row

Trans influencer Dylan Mulvaney (10.8m followers on TikTok and 1.8m on Instagram) has been hired by Nike to promote its women’s Alate sports bras and Zenvy leggings, sparking a backlash from people who would prefer someone with a more typical woman’s body to model these kinds of products.

Mulvaney, most famous for her “days of girlhood” series on TikTok, has inadvertently become a focus for toxicity online. Her partnership with Bud Light inspired Kid Rock to shoot at cans of the lager, while another with Olay has received a similar reaction to the Nike deal – as well as plenty of support from her fans.

Nike’s Alate bra is a light support, padded bra, and the sponsorship is part of Nike’s “Feel your all” campaign, which aims to get more women involved in sport regardless of their athletic ability.  But Olympic athletes Caitlin Jenner (herself transgender) and Sharron Davies – as well as hundreds of Instagram followers – have spoken out against Nike’s partnership with Mulvaney.

Jenner tweeted, “Have some decency while being inclusive. This is an outrage,” while Davies said, “The ad feels like a parody of what women are. In the past it’s always been seen as an insult to say ‘run like a girl,’ and here we’ve got someone behaving in a way that’s very un-sporty and very unathletic and it’s so frustrating when only one per cent of the USA sponsorship dollar goes to females in sport. That Nike would do this feels like a kick in the teeth.”

The row comes at the start of Nike’s “year of the woman,” which looks ahead to the Women’s World Cup in Australia this July and August. A launch event was held at the newly-opened Serena Williams Centre, and Nike says it is dedicated to eradicating gender inequality in sport, claiming to have doubled investment in women’s products over the last four years

Nike’s track record with women is by no means perfect. In 2019 runner Allyson Felix – winner of nine Olympic medals including six golds – spoke out when she had her sponsorship money cut by 70% after she got pregnant. Nike subsequently introduced a maternity policy guaranteeing athlete’s pay for 18 months around pregnancy.

Nike has withstood much bigger controversies than Dylan Mulvaney in the recent past. The sports brand incited a lot of righteous shoe burning when they backed civil rights campaigner Colin Kaepernick, and stood by Tiger Woods through his infidelities, drunk driving and drugs. Nike also continues to weather the scandals of forced labour, human trafficking and modern slavery that dog their supply chain.

One inane Instagram post from Mulvaney will not undo the world’s biggest sports brand. For the record, it reads: “Home for a moment and leaning into cozy workout wear life with @nikewomen’s newest Zenvy leggings and Alate bra! They’re so comfortable and buttery soft, perfect for workouts and everyday wear!”





  1. Nike is full of pedophiles and crossdressers— he perfectly fits their corporate culture.

  2. “A more typical woman’s body” LOL you mean, like, an actual biological woman?! What sort of laughable, head-in-the-sand, make-believe, fairytale writing is this?

  3. Women have fought for hundreds of years to be recognized. How is it that men pretending to be women are now getting the limelight? Marginalizing women yet again.

  4. This is just more cancel women propaganda period. I am very happy to say I’m 47 years old and do not have more of this life to live. I am a woman. I have lived 47 years of misogyny, glass ceilings, sexual assaults and more! I have raised 6 children and yet, my badge that I have earned has become a costume? I don’t think so. Pro woman till my last breath. Biological men do not belong in women’s sports, dressing rooms. Here’s a thought? If you really want to know what it feels like why don’t you participate in the men’s sports and men’s dressing rooms? You’ll get a real good look on how it feels to be a woman.

  5. I back all biological women and there achievements in sport. No man under any disguise should be allowed to take part in women’s sport. For a corporate company to take part and support these non biological women is a disgrace to all women athletes around the world. The women’s sporting arena is becoming a joke at the expense of women. Men dressing up as women , so what’s happened to women dressed up as men and playing men’s sport. Yes a total unbalance
    The trans in women’s sport is just becoming a total joke at the expense of women and all there hard work at every level. Shame on all sponsors of this deceit in women’s sport

  6. Nike hiring a biological man to model women’s bras? Are they out of their minds? There are plenty of real women out there who would kill to be a model for Nike. And yet, they go and give the job to a man? It’s like saying, “Sure, we’ll let you play on our team, but only if you’re not actually a woman.”
    They clearly don’t care about their customers. And if they don’t care about their customers, then why should we give them our hard-earned money?

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