The team's decision to make changes to its uniforms is a good move toward destigmatizing menstruation.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on March 3, 2023. It has since been updated.
More and more workplaces have been discussing menstrual leaves and the need to eliminate the stigma around the topic. Orlando Pride Team is one of the first to act on its convictions. To make sure that women players of the Orlando Pride team are "comfortable and confident" during their periods, they will be wearing black shorts instead of white on the fields, as reported by Good Morning America. The team is part of the National Women's Soccer League. The team said that it is the first in the NWSL to make a change to its uniform after hearing the concerns of the players about being uncomfortable wearing white while menstruating.
Orlando Pride midfielder Erika Tymrak said in a statement, "The reasons behind not wanting to wear white shorts are clear, but it is, unfortunately, something that hasn't been addressed until recently." "I think it's a big step for us as a Club to make players feel comfortable and allow us to focus solely on competing." The team will wear their new uniforms on March 26 when they play against Portland Thorns in their first game of the 2023 season. Haley Carter, Orlando Pride's vice president of soccer operations and general manager, said, "We must remove the stigma involved in discussing the health issues impacting women and menstruating non-binary and trans athletes if we want to maximize performance and increase accessibility to the sport." She added that she is proud to be part of a Club that is making a small yet big impactful change when "it comes to both our professional and youth players."
The Orlando Pride is one of 12 teams in the NWSL, which was founded in 2012. The team's decision to make changes to its uniforms is a good move towards destigmatizing menstruation and increasing accessibility to menstrual care. In recent years, the US Women's National Team, on which many NWSL players compete, has openly spoken about using period tracking to help the teams to compete at the highest level.
National Women Soccer League side Orlando Pride have revealed that they would change the club’s white shorts due to period concerns.— Futball News (@FutballNews_) March 3, 2023
They announced that this was a move intended to make players comfortable during their period. pic.twitter.com/dhMH2uqqpJ
Moreover, in 2019, Dawn Scott who was the high-performance coach for both USWNT and NWSL then credited the use of period tracking which helped in knowing the time of the menstrual cycle and its symptoms - as one of the strategies that were used to win its fourth World Cup title. Scott said that a period tracker helped to fuel and train the players according to which phase of their menstrual cycle they were in.
In similar news, Spain has become the first European country to introduce paid menstrual leaves, according to Scary Mommy. Reportedly, people assigned females at birth can now take three paid days off, with the option of extending it to five days, in case they have a doctor's letter stating that they are having painful or debilitating periods. The funds will be provided by Spain's social security department.
In addition to new numbers, we will become the first NWSL team to update to dark shorts due to period concerns, continuing our investments in providing first-class player experience and care.— Orlando Pride (@ORLPride) February 28, 2023
Moreover, the new Spanish regulation is part of broader feminist and pro-trans laws that were voted on last month. In addition to the paid menstrual leave, people above the age of 16 can alter their legal gender, and anybody 16 or older can have an abortion, and conversion therapy is now banned.