On July 12th this year at the Asia Cup Championship at Wuhan, two Sikh Players were humiliated for wearing a turban. Just minutes before their first basketball game, they were asked to remove their turbans because their headgear “violated FIBA’s rules.”
The turban is a part of the Sikh Code of Conduct. Article 4.4.2 of FIBA's rule book states that “Players shall not wear equipment [objects] that may cause injury to other players.” However, there is no evidence that the turban or other articles of faith have been dangerous during a basketball game or any other sporting event. Many Sikh players like Milkha Singh, Harbhajan Singh and Monty Panesar have enjoyed safe and successful careers with their articles of faith in tact.
These policies must be changed. This incident has deeply hurt the feelings of all Sikhs - who shouldn’t be persecuted for merely adhering to their faith. FIBA should change its discriminatory policies and allow Sikhs to participate with their turbans on. Sign my petition.
Earlier this year, FIFA changed its policies and lifted the ban on headscarves. It’s high time FIBA recognizes and changes its discriminatory policies towards Sikhs.
Sports are means of uniting people from diverse cultures, religions and races. Ask FIBA to change its discriminatory policies and allow Sikhs to play.