Basketball's turban ban 'discriminatory'

US politicians launch campaign after Indian players asked to take their Turbans off at a tournament in China.

    US congress members said the Turban was "essential" to the faith of Sikh players  [File: Reuters]
    US congress members said the Turban was "essential" to the faith of Sikh players [File: Reuters]

    Two US politicians have launched a campaign urging the basketball association FIBA to reconsider its policy after two Sikh players were asked to remove their turbans during an international basketball match.

    In a letter sent on Tuesday to International Basketball Federation (FIBA) president, Yvan Mainini, American Congress members and co-authors of the letter, Joe Crowley and Ami Bera, called the policy "discriminatory," stating the  turban "is essential to their faith."

    "We are concerned about recent reports indicating that Sikhs are not able to participate in International Basketball Federation (FIBA) games while wearing a turban, which is essential to their faith, and ask you to change this discriminatory policy," the letter stated.

    "Basketball is a beloved team sport that has the ability to bring people of all backgrounds together, regardless of history, culture, language, and religion."

    The move comes after India's Amritpal Singh and Amjyot Singh were asked to remove their turbans at the FIBA Asia Cup tournament last month in China.

    The letter says the players were told their turbans violated FIBA's rules which states: "Players shall not wear equipment that may cause injury to other players."

    "There is no evidence showing that a turban has been dangerous during basketball games," the letter says and points to football's world governing body, FIFA, which permits players to wear turbans.

    Crowley and Bera said they have the backing of two dozen other members of Congress. The lawmakers hope the Switzerland-based FIBA will change the policy when its board meets at the end of August.

    SOURCE: AFP


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    What obstacles do young women in technology have to overcome to achieve their dreams? Play this retro game to find out.

    Heron Gate mass eviction: 'We never expected this in Canada'

    Hundreds face mass eviction in Canada's capital

    About 150 homes in one of Ottawa's most diverse and affordable communities are expected to be torn down in coming months

    I remember the day … I designed the Nigerian flag

    I remember the day … I designed the Nigerian flag

    In 1959, a year before Nigeria's independence, a 23-year-old student helped colour the country's identity.