A muslim girl in Maryland was told that she couldn’t participate in a basketball game because she was wearing a hijab. When the ref made the call, he was citing a rarely used rule, so the girl of course, made a fuss, calling in media, and complaining to her teammates, and audience.
“I didn’t even want to look down at Je’Nan in that moment,” coach Donita Adams told the Post. “I had not yet told her that she wasn’t allowed to play in the game because of her headscarf.”
The girl had previously been allowed to play in at least 24 games. However, she was breaking the league’s rules by wearing the hijab.
“I felt discriminated against, and I didn’t feel good at all,” Hayes said. “If it was some reason like my shirt wasn’t the right color or whatever, then I’d be like, ‘Okay.’ But because of my religion it took it to a whole different level, and I just felt that it was not right at all.”
After Adams informed Hayes of the reason for her exclusion from the game, she reportedly broke down in tears.
“The officials of the game there took a strict interpretation of the rule, instead of the spirit of the rule,” Andy Warner, the executive director of the state’s governing body for school athletics, said. “Does this fundamentally alter the game? Does this create an inherent risk? Does it create a competitive advantage? It doesn’t do any of those things, so why are we denying what would be approved if they were to put a simple request into the association?
Many readers expressed their support for the referee’s decision, saying that the girl should have simply taken off her hijab.
“Young lady, you are wrong! I suspect you are following your marching orders to cause as much havoc as you can. If you want to play basketball here in the US, you follow the rules. If you don’t want to follow the rules, then either don’t play, or go back to the country from which you came and play for them!” one Newsiosity reader commented on the site’s Facebook page.