Maryland student athletes can wear religious attire during games

MD student athletes can wear religious attire
Posted at 9:39 AM, Apr 04, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-04 09:41:41-04

Maryland student athletes are now allowed to wear religious attire during games or matches.

The change follows a controversal move last month by Watkins High Schools in Montgomery County.

 Je'Nan Hayes had to sit on the bench during her team's regional title basketball game against Oxon Hill.

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The Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association issued a statement about its ruling.

"[MPSSAA] herein grants an exception to the NFHS uniform standards for religious purposes. Any participant may wear a head covering, wrap, or other required religious garment which is not abrasive, hard, or dangerous to any player/others, and is attached in such a way that it is unlikely to come off during play."

Council on American-Islamic Relations Maryland Outreach Manager Dr. Zainab Chaudry responded to the rule.

"We welcome this change in policy, which will enable more Muslim high school students as well as students of other faiths to participate in athletic activities," she said. "Religion should never be a factor in the ability to play sports. We encourage the National Federation of State High School Associations, of which MPSSAA is a member, to adopt a similar policy change."