- Manchester City has switched its uniforms from white to burgundy shorts during home games.
- The change comes after players voiced concerns about competing in the kits during their periods.
- Though the club isn’t the first to consider such changes, it is arguably the most prominent to follow through.
Manchester City’s women’s team has changed its classic uniforms at players’ behest.
Starting with Wednesday’s match against the Blackburn Rovers, the reigning FA Women’s League Cup champions will switch out their traditional white shorts for a burgundy variety to pair with their powder blue home jerseys. The joint move from Man City and sponsor PUMA came in response to players’ desire “to feel comfortable and perform at their highest level,” particularly when they have their periods.
“As a result of player feedback and the underlying topic of women wanting to move away from wearing white shorts while on their periods, we have decided to implement changes to the products we offer to our female players,” the release from the team and brand said, per VERSUS.
Initially, the alterations to City’s uniforms were meant to go into effect beginning with the 2023-24 season. But after further discussions between players, management, and the sports apparel company, the Women’s Super League side began wearing its new shorts immediately.
“I’m sure pretty much everyone would agree we’re moving things forward,” head coach Gareth Taylor said, according to the club. “There’s plenty of considerations now for female athletes which are important for them to be the best versions of themselves.”
Though Manchester City is far from the first entity to consider this move, it is arguably the most prominent to follow through with such changes. England’s Lionesses publicly discussed a similar adjustment for the national team during their run to this summer’s European Championship. According to BBC, England’s football association (the FA) offered to take players’ perspectives into consideration while working in “close consultation” with jersey sponsor Nike on their options.
Even Wimbledon — among the most prestigious events in the sports world — became the target of similar calls for adaptations this past year. At present, players in the tournament are required to wear all-white outfits from head to toe.
Though the historic garb is undoubtedly part of The Championships’ lore, players who get their period — including current WTA star Qinwen Zheng and former Olympic champion Monica Puig — have highlighted “the mental stress of having to wear all white at Wimbledon and praying not to have your period during those two weeks.”
But Taylor is right; there is “much better awareness” of the impact of an athletes’ menstrual cycle on their performance than ever before. His squad’s simple but effective measure could very well catalyze change across the sports world.
“It’s more openly talked about,” Taylor said. “I think it’s only good for the girls and for the game as well.”