The Philippine Basketball Association is drawing flak online for its memo forbidding women players from having "boy-cut hairdos."
The memo, dated March 31, 2016, has circulated online after a photo of it was used in a report by Spin.ph on June 10.
PBA commissioner Chito Narvasa defended the new rule, adding that the players "understand what caused that and where we want to go, which is to continue developing women's basketball."
In a text message to Rappler, Narvasa narrated an incident wherein some viewers confused the women's 3 on 3 game to a high school match.
"During one game we overheard some people say 'ano ba ito high school player na 3 on 3 dito sa PBA??' When they learned girls pala they said 'ay!!'"
(During one game we overheard some people say 'is this a high school 3 on 3 match in the PBA??' When they learned that they're girls, they were suprised.)
After that, some officials and concerned people proposed a haircut rule for the women players to follow, "just like uniforms."
According to Narvasa, they have not received any complaints about the rule from the players themselves.
"We discussed and believed that especially for promotional purposes it would be good for the girls. So we issued the memo to wait for feedback. No one has complained 'til today. As a matter of fact some of the girls with boys cut have grown their hair so they can comply."
He also clarified that short hair cuts are still allowed.
The memo also included a new rule allowing each team to have a maximum of two current or former national team players. It will take effect at the start of the third conference.