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Muslim basketball player benched for wearing hijab in US

Monday, March 20, 2017

Washington: A 16-yearold Muslim high school girl in the US was not allowed to compete in the regional basketball finals despite playing a full season of games because of her hijab.

Je'Nan Hayes, of Watkins Mill High School in Gaithersburg, Maryland, played the first 24 games of the season without a problem but a few weeks ago, she was barred from playing a basketball game at her high school because of the headscarf she was wearing.

She never got to play in the Regional High School Championship game in Gaithersburg on March 3 as her coaches were told that she could not play
because of her headscarf.

"We've never been informed of this rule," Hayes's coach Donita Adams told CBS Baltimore.

Her coach had no choice but to leave her on the bench.

"I didn't want to look at her and explain to her why she couldn't play," Adams said.

"I was sad, angered, it was just a lot of emotions," Hayes said.

According to state rules, Hayes needed documented evidence to cover her head for religious purposes and still be able to take the court pick. "I feel a rule like this is discriminatory," Hayes said.

It is not often enforced and had not been for the first 24 games of the season in Montgomery County.

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