New York: A High School volleyball player in the United States’ Tennessee was disqualified for donning a hijab during the match.
According to a report by CNN, Najah Aqeel, a freshman at Valor Collegiate Prep in Nashville, was warming up for a match on September 15 when her coach said a referee refused to let her play due to her hijab.
The referee, citing a casebook rule, said that Najah required authorisation from Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association to wear the headscarf.
The first year student was given options to either remove her hijab or sit out of the match, but she chose not to play.
“I was angry, sad and also shocked just because I had never heard of the rule before that,” Najah told CNN. “The rule has no business being in the casebook. It singles out hijabis. I don’t see why I need approval to wear my hijab when it is a part of my religion.”
According to the executive director for The National Federation of State High School Associations (NFSH) Karissa Niehoff, who sets competition rules for most US high school sports, said that the uniform guidelines are not hard rules and states can make exceptions.
“We are heartbroken and deeply sorry that the young lady was disqualified from the match for wearing the hijab,” Niehoff said.