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Controversial Sikh basketball players forced to play without turbans at FIBA Asia Cup

Discussion in 'Hard Talk' started by aristotle, Jul 18, 2014.

  1. aristotle

    aristotle
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    The most recent headgear controversy in athletics concerns a sport that may surprise you: basketball.

    Last Saturday night at the FIBA Asia Cup, India had to start its game against Japan minus two of its top players, 6-foot-11 Amrit Pal Singh and 6-foot-8 Amjyot Singh. Minutes before the contest began in Wuhan, the largest city (population 10 million) in central China, referees had informed the two turban-clad men, who are both followers of the Sikh religion, that they were in violation of Article 4.4.2 of FIBA’s official rules, which states, “Players shall not wear equipment (objects) that may cause injury to other players.”

    And so while Amrit Pal and Amjyot scrambled to doff their turbans and band their flowing manes—many Sikhs do not cut their hair—the game began without them. The pair checked in about two minutes later, but the distraction and discomfort led to a 23-point defeat to the Japanese—although it must be noted that Amrit Pal scored a game-high 15 points

    “We have always played in turbans, even in last year’s FIBA Asia Championship in Manila,” Amrit Pal, 23, told writer Karan Madhok, whose blog, Hoopistani, is the definitive word on Indian basketball. “But playing in the Japan game without it felt very awkward. I wear a turban in practice, too, and it was strange to not have it on during the game.”

    Amrit Pal, the son of a Punjabi farmer who was introduced to the sport only four years ago, has been tying turban for just a few years. Amjyot, 22, who bears an eerie resemblance to Kobe Bryant, has worn a turban his entire life. “I find it much more comfortable playing with the turban, of course,” Amjyot told Hoopistani. “That is part of my habit.”

    The issue of religious headgear and FIBA restrictions has come up before (though, not, as far as anyone knows, with nuns’ habits). In a FIBA Asia Under-18 three-on-three tournament last year, the team from Maldives forfeited when its members were prohibited from wearing hijabs. On the eve of the Asia Cup, Scott Flemming, the American head coach of the Indian national team, had secured permission for his Sikh players to wear their turbans—or so he thought.

    “I spent a long time advocating for our players the day before the Japan game and finally thought we got the OK for [them] to wear their turbans,” Flemming told Madhok. “I was then told right before the game there was a misunderstanding on what we agreed to. We had no choice. I would never make our players do anything they were uncomfortable with according to their religious practices. It was up to them.”

    The idea that turbans or, for devout Muslims, hijabs may cause harm during a game to other players seems far-fetched. Elbows, which cannot be removed, are far more potentially lethal. Then again, Amrit Pal and Amjyot seemed to adjust to FIBA’s suppression of their religious custom with alacrity. The following night, India played host nation and prohibitive favorite China, which it had never defeated in its 78 years as a national team, and won 65-58.

    India’s leading scorers in the historic upset? Amrit Pal Singh and Amjyot Singh, sans turbans, paced the team with a game-high 13 points apiece.

    (Source: http://www.newsweek.com/turban-renewal-259304)
     

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  3. Shashi Pal Sharma

    Shashi Pal Sharma
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    The Indian Govt. must put a strong protest inthis regard. Those fools who think that even a turban can put harm to others should admitted to mental assylum.
     
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  4. aristotle

    aristotle
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    Indian minister criticizes 'no-headgear' rule after Sikh players told to remove turbans

    NEW DELHI – India's sports minister has criticized the 'no-headgear' rule of basketball's world body FIBA after two Sikh players on the national team were told to remove their turbans during the recent Asia Cup in China.

    Sarbananda Sonowal said in a statement Thursday he was "shocked and outraged" and was seeking a report from the Basketball Federation of India as well as urging the International Olympic Committee to instruct sporting federations to alter rules so such an incident is not repeated.

    According to FIBA rules, players are not allowed to use headgear, hair accessories and jewelry.

    The players, Amritpal Singh and Amjyot Singh, were told to remove their turbans, which followers of the Sikh religion are expected to wear, in the match against Japan on July 12 but never before that.

    (Source: http://www.foxnews.com/sports/2014/...dgear-rule-after-sikh-players-told-to-remove/)
     
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  5. Tejwant Singh

    Tejwant Singh United States
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    The Indian government should sue FIBA through its own Basketball Federation.
     
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  6. aristotle

    aristotle
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    Officials ask Sikh player to play without patka at Fiba Asia U-18 Championship at Doha, Qatar

    NAGPUR: Almost a month after Sikh players of the senior Indian basketball team were asked to remove their patka while playing at Wuhan, China, the row has resurfaced at Doha, Qatar.

    Despite the statement from Fiba, the world governing body that it would review basketball rules regarding headgear and have specifically used the word 'turban' and 'head scarf' after the Wuhan episode, adamant Fiba Asia officials did an encore.

    In a late night encounter on Tuesday, the lone Sikh player representing India - Anmol Singh - was asked to remove his patka while the team was warming up for their opening clash against hosts Qatar on Day 1 of the 23rd Fiba Asia U-18 Championship.

    On Wednesday, against Malaysia, Anmol was allowed to play with his patka, but after 10 minutes, was told to remove it. Having failed to interpret headgear rules properly, the match officials ended up humiliating Anmol.

    When team manager Shafique Ahmed raised the issue during the manager's meeting on the eve of the championship, the technical commission director of Fiba Asia informed him, "Fiba's central board meeting will be held after this championship. Till then, they are bound to follow the rules."

    In a chat with TOI from Doha, national U-18 coach Jora Singh said, "Anmol was not allowed to play with a turban during our opening game against Qatar when the team was warming up. Today, he was allowed to play with the patka in the first quarter, but later on was told to remove it. Anmol then tied his hair with a small band and continued to play."

    On July 23, TOI had highlighted the discrimination faced by two Sikh basketball players during the Asia Cup in China. The sports ministry and the Basketball Federation of India (BFI) had reacted by notifying the International Olympic Committee (IOC) about it. BFI even raised the issue during the Fiba Asia Congress and also made an official communication to the International Basketball Federation (Fiba). Despite getting a positive response from Fiba World, the BFI, however, failed to raise the issue before the U-18 championship.

    BFI associate secretary Ashok Rangeen, however, claims to have raised the issue before the start of the championship. "We have communicated to Fiba Asia that the headgear rules were not properly interpreted in China and hence they should allow Anmol to play at least with a small patka."

    (Source: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/...ia-U-18-Championship/articleshow/40566963.cms)
     
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  7. aristotle

    aristotle
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    To show solidarity with the Sikh basketball players, you can use the hashtag #LetSikhsPlay in your tweets or facebook posts. In addition, you can also tag FIBA in your tweets demanding fair treatment for the Sikh players.
     
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  8. aristotle

    aristotle
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    US Sikhs, lawmakers protest basketball ban on turbans

    WASHINGTON: Two US lawmakers, including the lone Indian-American Congressman, have joined Sikh community groups in protesting the world basketball body FIBA's delay in reviewing the discriminatory policy against Sikh basketball players who wear turbans.

    "Every day FIBA delays is another day that Sikhs can't play," Democrat House members Ami Bera and Joe Crowley, formerly chair of the India Caucus, said in a statement Thursday after the International Basketball Federation's (FIBA) announcement that its governing board would delay a review of its headgear policy.

    "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," they said urging the board "to stop delaying and let Sikhs play."

    (Source: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/...tball-ban-on-turbans/articleshow/41174057.cms)
     
  9. aristotle

    aristotle
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  10. Abneet

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    No point in trying now.....

    Punjab Spectrum News:
    ਸਿੱਖ ਬਾਸਕਟਬਾਲ ਖਿਡਾਰੀ ਅਮ੍ਰਿਤਪਾਲ ਸਿੰਘ ਅਤੇ ਅਮਜੋਇਤ ਸਿੰਘ ਜਿਨ੍ਹਾਂ ਨੂੰ ਖੇਡਦੇ ਸਮੇਂ ਦਸਤਾਰ ਉਤਾਰਨ ਨੂੰ ਕਿਹਾ ਗਿਆ ਸੀ ਨੇ ਟਾਈਮਜ਼ ਆਫ ਇੰਡੀਆ ਦੀ ਰਿਪੋਰਟ ਮੁਤਾਬਕ ਬਾਸਕਟਬਾਲ ਖੇਡਣ ਲਈ ਕੇਸ ਕਟਾ ਲਏ ਹਨ।

    NAGPUR: The International Basketball Federation’s (Fiba) announcement to allow players to wear religious headgear may have come a little too late for Amritpal and Amjyot Singh. The Sikh players, who were asked by organizers to remove their turbans before their opening match at the Asia Cup Basketball Championship in Wuhan (China) in July, chose to cut their hair prior to boarding the flight to Incheon for the Asian Games on Wednesday.

    It is reliably learnt that both players will continue to wear their turbans, but now won’t be needing patkas during their matches. The duo chose to avoid questions on why they opted for a haircut, but was relieved with Fiba’s decision to allow religious headgear.

    “I woke up this morning and was pleasantly surprised with the news that Fiba has reversed the turban ban. I am grateful for the support from all quarters,” Amritpal said. “We have been saved from any future humiliation,” Amjyot added.

    The statement, issued by the Fiba’s director of communication Patrick Koller shortly after Tuesday midnight, comes almost two months after TOI broke the story of Amritpal and Amjyot’s humiliation in Wuhan on July 23. The issue surfaced again during the Fiba Asia U-18 Championship at Doha (Qatar), where another Sikh player Anmol Singh was stopped from playing with a patka. The trio used rubber bands to hold their hair back and play in their respective games.

    Fiba’s central board under the leadership of newly-elected president Horacio Muratore met on September 13 and held “in-depth discussions regarding rules about uniforms” and decided to allow a two-year testing phase that would let players wear religious headgear. This decision comes after sustained pressure from the Basketball Federation of India (BFI) and the sports ministry on the racial injustice meted out to the trio.

    “Relaxing the current rules regarding headgear in order to enable national federations to request, as of now, exceptions to be applied at the national level within their territory without incurring any sanctions for violation of Fiba’s official basketball rules. National federations wishing to apply for such an exception to the uniform regulations shall submit a detailed request to Fiba. Once approved, they shall submit follow-up reports twice a year to monitor the use of such exceptions,” the statement read.

    “Players be allowed to play in the Fiba endorsed 3×3 competitions – both nationally and internationally – wearing headgear without restrictions, unless the latter presents a direct threat to their safety or that of other players on court. Players wishing to take part in such competitions with headgear must ensure that a detailed request for approval is addressed to Fiba,” it added.

    “A full review will be done in 2016 to take a decision on whether permanent changes to the official basketball rules shall be made and implemented after the 2016 Olympic Games,” the world body stated.
    Source: Times of India(TOI)

    BIG DISAPPOINTMENT ON FIBA AND THESE SINGHS.

    http://www.punjabspectrum.com/2014/09/280
     
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  11. Rajwinder

    Rajwinder United States
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    To me coaches and other admin staff not knowing this restriction is the first issue. Now whether is needs to be the rule or not .. yes can be debated and be taken with authorities. This deal about either 5K's or Turban surely need discussion .. because surely with 5K's u simply cannot play quite a bit of professional sports , Turban thing can be handled mostly either by just tying a small patka or something mostly. Or are we saying that if we are wearing 5k's then have other ways of keep your body healthy rather then just focusing on prof sports of today's time.
     
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