Nashville Volleyball Player Disqualified For Wearing Hijab

September 21, 2020 / Athletic AdministrationVolleyball
Last week a Tennessee charter school student-athlete was disqualified by a referee during a volleyball match for wearing a hijab for religious reasons.

Citing a uniform rule by the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association (TSSAA), the referee said the player needed authorization from the association to wear the hijab, according to a report from The Tennessean.

Photo: Chris Goldberg / Creative Commons

Now, Valor College Prep — a Nashville charter school — and the American Muslim Advisory Council are advocating to alter the association’s uniform rule, according to Fox23 Tennessee.

Najah Aqeel, a freshman at the high school, has allegedly worn the hijab during another game this season without incident, according to officials with the American Muslim Advisory Council.

“Why should Muslim girls, who want to follow their constitutionally protected right, have an extra barrier to fully participate in sports in Tennessee?” Sabina Mohyuddin, the council’s executive director, told the television station. “This rule was used to humiliate a 14-year-old student in front of her peers. It was traumatizing, to say the least. We have Muslim girls across the state playing sports. Religious barriers to playing sports should not exist in this day and age. This rule is akin to telling Muslim girls that they need permission to be a Muslim.”

The Tennessean reported that Valor College Prep athletic director Cameron Hill reached out to the TSSAA to request that authorization previously cited by the referee with the TSSAA immediately giving approval.

According tot he TSSAA rule book, “Hair devices made of soft material and no more than 3 inches wide may be worn in the hair or on the head. Bobby pins, flat clips, and flat barrettes, unadorned and no longer than 2 inches, are also allowed.”

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Now an amendment will be made to account for hijabs and other garbs related to religious reasons.

To read the full article from Fox 23 News on the TSSAA altering its uniform rules, click here