High school student banned from playing basketball for wearing hijab

High school student banned from playing basketball game for wearing hijab

Je’Nan Hayes was not allowed to play in a basketball game

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

A high school student on a girls' basketball team was banned from a game due to wearing a hijab in Maryland.

Je’Nan Hayes was kept on the bench for the entirety of her team's final game of the season, despite all other reserves playing a part in the match, according to The Washington Post.

Before the game started an official told coach Donita Adams from Watkins Mill High School the student would not be entitled to play because she did not have any documents to say she could wear the scarf for religious reasons during the game.

The coach was unable to convince the official to change her decision, but Hayes was not told about this discussion until after the game had finished.

When she was told, she began to cry. The player said: “I felt discriminated against and I didn’t feel good at all.

“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.”

The Council on American-Islamic Relations has now called for the documentation requirement to be changed and is working with Maryland’s governing body for high school athletics to do so.

Executive director of the athletic association Andy Warner said: “The officials of the game there took a strict interpretation of the rule, instead of the spirit of the rule" and they were wrong to do so.

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