Dems blast delay of review of whether Sikhs can play basketball wearing turbans

Democratic Reps. Joseph Crowley (N.Y.) and Ami Bera (Calif.) slammed the International Basketball Federation's decision to delay a ruling on whether Sikh players can wear turbans.

Crowley and Bera's statement came after the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) announced it would not rule on the issue yet.

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"Every day FIBA delays is another day that Sikhs can't play," Crowley and Bera said. "Allowing Sikhs to play while wearing their turban is a no-brainer, and we’re disappointed that FIBA has delayed their review of a policy that can only be described as outdated, discriminatory, and totally inconsistent with the ideals of team sports."

Earlier this year, controversy ensued when two Sikh players were told by referees that wearing turbans in the FIBA Asia Cup would violate the rule that "players shall not wear equipment (objects) that may cause injury to other players."

Crowley and Bera noted that other sporting groups, including the Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) and the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), permit turbans in their soccer and basketball games. 

"We urge the board to stop delaying and let Sikhs play," Crowley and Bera said.

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