It has not patented the design, allowing other soccer clubs to follow in its footsteps.
The needs of women often go unnoticed in the male-dominated sporting industry, with little attention given to accommodating their bodies and health. However, a few clubs are trying to change that entirely by designing equipment and jerseys specifically catered to women's needs. Argentinian soccer team Racing Club has created a jersey particularly tailored to aid breastfeeding. This is the first time in the football kit world that breastfeeding needs are being accommodated, according to Footy Headlines.
Several Racing-supporting women spoke out in the launch video on the stigma still linked to public breastfeeding. According to research that reviewed data from a nationwide public opinion poll performed in 2001, just 43% of U.S. adults believed that women should be allowed to breastfeed in public settings.
Breastfeeding has traditionally been regarded as the finest source of nourishment for newborns, according to National Consumers League. It provides the ideal balance of nutrition in an easily digested form while also minimizing the risk of certain syndromes, illnesses, and allergies. Breastfeeding helps mothers shed pregnancy weight quicker and minimizes uterine bleeding after birth. It also lowers the risk of breast and ovarian cancer. Hence, it is extremely important for both the recovering mothers and the newborn child. However, despite these advantages, public breastfeeding is still looked down upon.
Many moms have been requested to stop nursing or leave public venues where they have breastfed. When women are in such situations, they are humiliated and scared of being stigmatized by those around them because they breastfeed. Restaurant and shopping center management has stated that they would either ban breastfeeding anywhere in their establishments or propose that breastfeeding moms go to a more quiet spot.
Organizations like the Racing Club team are trying to destigmatize such an essential function. The new shirt was created utilizing the club's Kappa home shirt and has a carefully positioned opening between two overlapping layers, allowing newborns to access the mother's breast in a comfortable and practical manner. Mothers can now breastfeed while showing their support for the team.
According to the club, the design has been made available to any club in the world so that others might follow in their footsteps. Although breastfeeding wear has existed for some years, this is the first time it has been used in a football uniform. The fans of the team and especially women are extremely delighted to see this new Jersey. One person tweeted, "I think it's a very nice way to make breastfeeding visible and that it can finally stop being a taboo in public."
Not satisfied with designing an innovative jersey promoting further inclusion in the game, Racing announced they haven't patented the design, making it public so other clubs can follow their lead. https://t.co/vKISkzPWe3— Athletic Club Momento (@ACMomento) October 24, 2022
Another added, "It's great, they should give it as a gift to the members when they register their babies." A third said, "I'm not racing or anything but this is great and you have to admit it! Well done people, applause and pride that they have taken this position."
"Congratulations Racing!!! What a pioneering spirit that helps others, and encouragement!!!" another fan noted.
This first-of-a-kind Jersey will pave the way for more breastfeeding and practical clothing for new mothers. It will also help to destigmatize something that is truly essential to the human body.