Manchester City Women Shelve White Shorts Due to Period Concerns; Other Clubs Considering Change

The women’s team at English club Manchester City has shelved the white shorts that usually go with their home kit after players expressed concerns over playing in them during menstruation, and several other high-profile clubs may soon follow suit.

Late last month, Manchester City announced their women’s team would wear maroon shorts instead of white with their light blue home jerseys for the rest of this season. The move away from white shorts was initially scheduled for next season, but was moved forward after players spoke up.

Courtesy Manchester City

A statement from manufacturer Puma and the club, as reported by Forbes, reads: “Puma and Manchester City take pride in working closely with our players to support them and create the best possible environment for them to feel comfortable and perform at their highest level.

“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.

“Starting from the 2023/24 season, we will not be providing white shorts to our female athletes. We will always provide an alternative for our home, away and third kits to solve the issue highlighted by women across all sports.”

Courtesy Manchester City

Manchester City join Stoke City and West Bromwich Albion — both of whom play in the third tier of English women’s football — as English clubs that have moved away from white shorts at home. Scottish third-tier side Livingston and Welsh top-flight side Swansea City have also made the change.

“I think there was good interaction from players and Club and then with our manufacturers in Puma,” said Manchester City manager Gareth Taylor. “It’s great, a good step forward and good flexibility from us as a Club and Puma.”

“I’m sure pretty much everyone would agree we’re moving things forward,” he added. “There’s plenty of considerations now for female athletes which are important for them to be the best versions of themselves. There’s a much better awareness now, it’s more openly talked about, I think it’s only good for the girls and for the game as well.”

Man City’s FA Women’s Super League rivals Manchester United and Arsenal also traditionally wear white shorts at home, and both clubs’ managers have said it’s an issue on which they’re open to change.

“It is a really important step for the clubs and kit manufacturers to listen to the players and what they feel comfortable in. I work for a club that will listen to the players in cases like this,” Arsenal manager Jonas Eidevall is quoted as saying in a story on Yardbarker.

The Yardbarker story also mentions the England national team, which often wears white shorts with their traditional white home shirt. According to The Athletic, forward Beth Mead brought up the issue after the opening match of the Women’s Euro 2022 tournament over the summer: “That is something we have fed to Nike. I think hopefully they are going to change that. It is very nice to have an all-white kit but sometimes it’s not practical when it’s the time of the month.”

England forward Beth Mead in action during the Women’s Euro 2022 tournament over the summer. (Courtesy Britwatch Sports)

A Nike spokesperson told The Athletic: “We absolutely hear and understand the concerns of our athletes that wearing light colored apparel while having their period can be a real barrier to sport.

“We are deeply engaged with our athletes in the process of designing solutions to meet their needs, while also consulting the clubs, federations and sporting associations that set uniform standards and colours.”