Women's Sport: Nike faces backlash for bodysuit that will combat "fiery conditions" in Australia


Nike made a misstep this week after releasing a new advertisement ahead of the upcoming Australian Open, leaving many Down Under unimpressed by its choice of words.

The advert is being used to promote the brand's new bodysuit released in advance of the tournament, but the wording has cause controversy.

The product itself is a new knee-length bodysuit that has been designed by NikeCourt to help female athletes combat the heat. 

Nike promised its new Melbourne inspired bodysuit would help its players battle ‘fiery conditions’ on the court, against a backdrop of some of the country’s worst-ever bushfires.

Describing the heat challenges that players often duel when playing in the Melbourne-based tournament left Nike open to criticism on social media.

New York Times journalist, Ben Rothenberg called the promotion “tone deaf” and many others on Twitter echoed his sentiments.

The NikeCourt advert has now been changed on the brand’s website and now reads: "To account for the temperatures during play, NikeCourt designers developed a knee-length bodysuit for women as a baselayer.

"This garment is informed by Atlas body-mapping to identify the areas that tend to overheat (notably under the bra and at the neckline) and is pieced together to maximize breathability in those spaces."

The bushfires in Australia have already claimed the lives of 24 people and over 500 million animals in the country will no clear end in sight.

World number one Ashleigh Barty has already pledged to donate any winnings she earns from the upcoming Brisbane International tournament to the Australian Red Cross.

Many of Barty's fellow players have joined Nick Kyrios in pledging $200 to the bushfire relief fund for every ace that is served during the competition.

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