The Stream

#LetSikhsPlay opposes basketball ban on turbans

International Basketball Federation criticised for making Sikh players remove their turbans before game.

Anger erupted online after two Sikh Indian basketball players were forced to step away from an Asia Cup game against Japan in order to remove their turbans. The International Basketball Federation (FIBA) invoked Article 4.4.2 for the first time in an international game, which states “Players shall not wear equipment (objects) that may cause injury to other players,” including headgear. 

The players, Amrit Pal Singh and Amjyot Singh are both followers of the Sikh religion, which requires their hair to remain in a natural uncut state under a turban. They agreed to remove their turbans and tie their hair back with headbands, but said the turbans had never been an issue in the past. Amrit said: