US Congress asks Basketball body to review policy against Sikh turbans

The letter says Sikh players participating within FIBA were told that their turbans violate Article 4.4.2 of FIBA's official rules, which states that 'Players shall not wear equipment (objects) that may cause injury to other players.'

hidden July 24, 2014 07:55:17 IST
US Congress asks Basketball body to review policy against Sikh turbans

Appalled by reports that Sikh players from India were asked to remove their turbans at an international basketball match, top US lawmakers have launched a campaign asking FIBA to review the discriminatory policy.

"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," said a letter addressed to Yvan Mainini, FIBA president.

Led by Congressman Joe Crowley, the letter began circulating at the US Congress yesterday. Indian-American Congressman Ami Bera has signed the letter as co-lead.

US Congress asks Basketball body to review policy against Sikh turbans

Representational image: Reuters

"We hope that you will carefully re-examine the existing policy with respect to Sikh turbans and support a change when FIBA's Central Board next meets," the letter said. It would soon be sent to FIBA headquarters in Switzerland.

The letter says Sikh players participating within FIBA were told that their turbans violate Article 4.4.2 of FIBA's official rules, which states that "Players shall not wear equipment (objects) that may cause injury to other players."

There is no evidence showing that a turban has been dangerous during basketball games or other popular sports events, the Congressmen argue.

"In fact, there are many examples of Sikhs who have safely competed in basketball at many levels with their articles of faith intact," the letter says.

The letter cited the example of Darsh Preet Singh who captained the basketball team at Trinity University while maintaining his turban throughout a successful career at the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).

Singh has become a model of success for Sikhs across America and the world, and has shown that a Sikh turban neither hinders nor endangers NCAA competitors, it said.

Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) recently changed its policies to allow Sikhs to wear turbans while playing soccer.

Secretary General Jerome Valcke said in announcing the decision: "You cannot have discrimination," the letter noted.

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

"In addition to becoming one of the most popular sports in many countries, basketball has come to exemplify how those of diverse backgrounds can communicate, coordinate, and work together in pursuit of a shared goal," the letter said.

"We believe that makes the basketball court the perfect venue to showcase the diversity of our world and the ways in which sports bring people together," the Congressmen said.

PTI

Updated Date:

Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.

also read

Olympic silver medallist Luvo Manyonga temporarily banned for failing to apprise anti-doping authorities of location
Sports

Olympic silver medallist Luvo Manyonga temporarily banned for failing to apprise anti-doping authorities of location

Manyonga, who also celebrated his 30th birthday on Friday, finished second at Rio in 2016 and was world champion a year later in London.

Thailand Open: Badminton stares at uneasy return as compulsions mount on BWF
Sports

Thailand Open: Badminton stares at uneasy return as compulsions mount on BWF

There is no doubt that the world badminton body would have been influenced by the compulsion of holding these three tournaments in a delayed Olympic qualification year, and also by the fact that other sports like tennis and cricket have been holding major events successfully, without causing a spike in Covid-positive cases.

Washington endures final convulsions of the fractious and divisive Donald Trump era
World

Washington endures final convulsions of the fractious and divisive Donald Trump era

The US capital on Wednesday was a city on edge, bracing for possible violence and unrest, with downtown businesses boarding up their storefronts and windows