A 14-year old Tennessee high school athlete, Najah Aqeel, has been given the option by the match referee to either remove the hijab during the volleyball or leave the game. The girl chose to sit it out.
Najah Aqeel revealed that she was preparing for her volleyball match on September 15 when her head coach approached her and asked her to remove the headscarf.
The referee said that if an athlete wants to wear a hijab she has to receive the authorization from the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association (TSSAA).
Najah disclosed that she has no issues in other matches but in that match referee needed authorization. She said she never heard about the rule before that.
Muslim women who wear hijab only remove it in the presence of other women or immediate family members.
Najah was angry and sad. She stated that she doesn’t understand why she needs the approval to wear a hijab when it is a part of her religion.
Karissa Niehoff, executive director for The National Federation of State High School Associations (NFSH) said that they are very sorry after hearing about the incident.
The right decision at that time is to let the young lady play the game and then asked her after the game to submit the letter before.