Anna Cockrell (second from left) and Sha'Carri Richardson (right) were among the Team USA athletes at the Nike Air Innovation Summit in Paris on Thursday | Dominique Maitre/WWD via Getty Images

Nike insists all Team USA track and field athletes competing at the Paris Olympics can choose to wear unitards with brief-style bottoms or shorts after an image of a new kit design drew fierce criticism.

The “first look” picture went out Thursday on Citius Mag’s social feeds showing a male mannequin in a unitard with shorts alongside a female mannequin in a unitard with a super-high-cut panty line.

Immediately, there was consternation in the comments, with current and former athletics stars among those airing concerns.

“Professional athletes should be able to compete without dedicating brain space to constant pube vigilance or the mental gymnastics of having every vulnerable piece of your body on display,” wrote former U.S. 5,000m champion Lauren Fleshman, whose award-winning memoir “Good for a Girl: My Life Running in a Man’s World” was published last year.

“Women’s kits should be in service to performance, mentally and physically. If this outfit was truly beneficial to physical performance, men would wear it.”

Queen Claye, who represented the U.S. in 400m hurdles at Beijing 2008, tagged the European Wax Center and suggested they come on board as team sponsors.

There were thousands of likes for a comment from long jumper Tara Woodhall-Davis, preparing for her second Games.

“Wait my hoo haa is gonna be out,” she wrote.

On the same day, various Team USA kits were being presented to the media at the “Nike Air Innovation Summit” at the Palais Brongniart in Paris, with Sha’Carri Richardson (in shorts) and other American athletes modelling the uniforms.

It appears the high-cut unitard shown on the mannequin was nowhere to be seen on stage, although Richardson’s track teammates Athing Mu and Anna Cockrell were sporting the briefs, with some observers saying they were still unnecessarily revealing.

“Thong bikinis for runners… believe it or not, JAIL,” wrote steeplechaser Colleen Quigley, riffing on an old “Parks and Recreation” meme.

Reuters later reported that Nike had confirmed in an email to them that all athletes would get an option of briefs or shorts; that the track and field kits “include nearly 50 apparel pieces and 12 competition styles for specific events”; and that tailors would be made available to all Olympic and Paralympic athletes in Paris.

Team USA pole vaulter Katie Moon agreed that the mannequin pic was “concerning” but defended the briefs, and even engaged with X users on the topic, including one who was arguing intensely on behalf of male athletes who might want to “wear ass outs and crop tops.”

“If there are men currently competing that would like the buns and crop top and were denied, that would be a problem,” wrote Moon, with the patience of several saints.

“As I’m not a man, I can only speak to my experience and I’m glad that the women have many options.”

Of course, athletes in many other sports — such as diving, water polo and beach volleyball — have little to no choice when it comes to the shape and fit of their kit.

Overly tight lycra, see-through materials and “wardrobe malfunctions” have all caused embarrassment or made a mockery of athletes down the years.

Moon wrote that she preferred wearing “buns” because she wants “as little fabric clinging to me when I’m hot and sweaty.”

There are no doubt a few male athletes who would like to wear less fabric too. For Rio 2016, at least one Team USA Olympic gymnast said he’d prefer to compete shirtless.

But for American women in track and field looking at the Nike mannequin image, the thought of being sexualized and ogled at Paris 2024 was understandably alarming.

The new designs continued to dominate the social media discourse well into the weekend.

“This is a costume born of patriarchal forces that are no longer welcome or needed to get eyes on women’s sports,” added Fleshman in her Instagram post.

“I’m queer and I’m attracted to female bodies, but I don’t expect or enjoy seeing female athletes or male athletes put in a position to battle self-consciousness at their place of work.”