Washington Dc, USA: The International Basketball Federation (FIBA) announced today it will not reverse Article 4.4.2, which bans players from wearing dastaars (turbans) on the court. Instead, FIBA will delay its decision: “The Central Board decided, it requires further analysis before a final decision is made. Both the Technical and Legal Commissions shall study and present options to the Central Board.
It is disappointing that FIBA has decided to let bureaucracy stand in the way of progress and religious freedom. The FIBA Basketball World Cup starts on Saturday, August 30, 2014. While FIBA presents itself as a representative of global sport this weekend, Sikh players will still be forced to choose between playing a game they love and following their religious beliefs. In the United States, the Sikh Coalition and SALDEF will continue to promote the #LetSikhsPlay hashtag on Facebook and Twitter.
SALDEF will continue to secure media opportunities for Sikh Americans to voice why FIBA’s policies are contradictory to the spirit of sports as reflected in previous coverage of Darsh Preet Singh, the first turbaned Sikh American to play basketball in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and a member of SALDEF’s Sikh Speakers’ Bureau.