Millennium Post

FIBA delays decision to lift ban on turbans

The International Basketball Federation (FIBA) has decided to delay the review of its discriminatory policy against Sikh basketball players who wear turbans, drawing sharp reactions from top American lawmakers and Sikh bodies which described it as ‘outdated’. ‘Every day FIBA delays is another day that Sikhs can’t play.

Allowing Sikhs to play while wearing their turban is a no-brainer, and we’re disappointed that FIBA has delayed their review of a policy that can only be described as outdated, discriminatory, and totally inconsistent with the ideals of team sports,’ Congressmen Joe Crowley and Ami Bera, the lone Indian-American Congressman, said in a joint statement.

‘We urge the board to stop delaying and let Sikhs play,’ they said. Last week, Crowley and Bera led dozens of Members of Congress in a letter to FIBA’s president urging the board to update its policies to stop requiring Sikhs to remove their turbans during basketball games.

The letter followed an outcry over an incident involving two Sikh players who were told by referees that they must remove their turbans if they were to play in FIBA?s Asia Cup.

The players, who have always played in turbans, were told that they were in violation of one of FIBA?s official rules, which states, ‘Players shall not wear equipment (objects) that may cause injury to other players.’ 


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