WASHINGTON, DC — Joe Crowley, chairman of the Democratic Caucus, and Ami Bera, Indian American co-chair of the House Caucus on India and Indian American Affairs, have come out in support of the International Basketball Federation which is looking to change its policy requiring Sikhs and other players to remove their articles of faith, such as turbans, in international competitions.
FIBA’s central board announced on February 2 that it supports a change in policy and the board’s recommendation will be considered when FIBA’s Mid-Term Congress meets in May 2017, according to a press release.
“We’re thrilled that the board has endorsed a change that, if adopted, will let Sikhs play wearing articles of faith”, said Crowley and Bera, in the report.
“While it should have never taken this long for the board to endorse this change, we’re glad that FIBA is moving ahead. There is no evidence that turbans or religious headgear pose a threat to players, and FIBA’s policy has been not only outdated, but discriminatory.
The policy gain public attention when two Sikh players were told by referees to remove their turbans if they were going to play in FIBA’s Asia Cup.