Orlando Pride first in NWSL to ditch white shorts over period concerns

The Orlando Pride have become the first team in the National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) to update their kit to dark shorts due to period concerns.

The Pride announced the update to their Luna Kit on Tuesday, replacing the white shorts previously worn throughout the 2022 season in order to "make players more comfortable and confident when playing during their menstrual cycle."

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"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 sport," Orlando Pride VP of soccer operations and general manager Haley Carter said.

"I am proud to be part of a club that is making a small but extremely impactful change when it comes to both our professional and youth players. The experience that players have and the safety and comfort they feel when wearing an Orlando Pride crest is a critical area of focus for us.

"We will continue to not only listen to player feedback but keep taking steps to make Orlando a world-class destination for athletes."

There has been a growing movement in women's soccer to stop requiring the wearing of white shorts. Last year, Manchester City became the first team in England's Women's Super League to announce that they would no longer wear white shorts from next season.

That followed comments from England star Beth Mead during the 2022 European Championship that the team's all-white kit was sometimes "not practical." The English FA subsequently acknowledged the need for consideration on future kit designs.

"The reasons behind not wanting to wear white shorts are clear, but it is unfortunately something that hasn't been addressed until recently," Orlando Pride midfielder Erika Tymrak said. "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 Pride's new kit will debut on March 26 when they travel to face the Portland Thorns in the 2023 NWSL season opener.