Our message this week is simple: #FIBAAllowHijab
Sports inherently foster inclusivity. In our eyes, socio-economic status, politics, and religion should never play a part – rather, sports should be all about what happens between the lines, and allowing the best competitor to win. When organizations start to ban players for reasons such as the hijab, competition throughout the league decreases and the product of sports is compromised. Recently, FIBA, the International Basketball Foundation, has banned players to wear the hijab, stating that the piece of clothing may cause safety concerns among the players. But the players who are actually wearing the hijab say there’s no risk. So, FIBA, let’s go ahead and allow women to wear the hijab as they please, ok?
In fairness, a traditional hijab may be a cause for concern, but with Nike’s new athletic fabric and fit, the concerns are gone. FIFA, the governing body of international soccer, had a similar ban that was lifted after a two-year trial. So, we propose the same: a two-year trial period in which athletes may wear headgear. If significant injuries occur during this time, sports organizations can reevaluate the effect of the athletic hijab, BUT, if minimal injuries occur, what are we scared of?
If hashtags, common sense, and fairness won’t work, let’s at least hope that money can. Nike has recently partnered with FIBA for the Women’s World Cup. So, let’s just hope that hijabs are included with the other “dangerous” clothes Nike will provide such as jerseys, shorts, and shoes. FIBA, you can make your sport more competitive, you can make people happy, and do all of that while making money. You really should allow the hijab.
For more on the topic, check out this short film by UNINTERUPTED: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0E-SKXBnlJg