The world of basketball just got a little more inclusive. The International Basketball Federation, FIBA, has just made it so that players can finally rock their hijabs without risking being excluded from participating in games. The new rule, which allows players to wear head gear, is due to go into effect at the start of October and was ratified unanimously, according to FIBA.
Of course, there are a few guidelines to the rule. To name a few, the headgear actually needs to match the uniform, can’t obscure the face (partially or entirely), and can’t be dangerous to the player or those around them. FIBA cites “the fact that traditional dress codes in some countries – which called for the head and/or entire body being covered – were incompatible with FIBA’s previous headgear rule”as the reason for the change. As the BBC mentions, the women’s basketball team from Qatar had to opt out of the 2014 Asian games because they were not allowed to wear their hijabs.
This decision follows a growing trend of sports organizations and brands committing to cater to athletes who wear hijabs. In March, Nike announced they would be releasing its new Pro Hijab, which is created to keep athletes cool and covered. At the 2016 Olympics, fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad became the first American to compete in a hijab during the games. At the 2012 Olympics, the rules for beach volleyball uniforms changed, allowing athletes to wear long sleeves and bodysuits, instead of being forced to wear bikinis or a one piece swimsuit.
Clearly, the world is waking up to the fact that hijabs don’t make you any less of an athlete than one who chooses to let their hair fly free. Of course, there is still much more work to be done, but it looks like the tide is finally turning as the sports world slowly becomes more accommodating to people with different cultural values.
More on Hijabs:
- Why I Proudly Wore My Hijab to a Trump Rally
- Meet Halima Aden, the Hijab-Wearing Model Who Will Walk in Kanye West’s Yeezy Season 5 at Fashion Week
- Hello Hijab Is a New Line of Stylish Hijabs for Dolls
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