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A 16-year-old Islamic high school girl, Je'Nan Hayes, Watkins Mill High School, Maryland, was forbidden from competing in the regional basketball finals in the US owing to her hijab, though she played a complete season of games.

Donita Adams, Hayes's coach, who had no other choice but to leave her behind, told CBS Baltimore "We've never been informed of this rule…..I didn't want to look at her and explain to her why she couldn't play. I was sad, angered, it was just a lot of emotions.”

As per the state rules, Ms Hayes needed documented proof to cover her head on religious motives and still be eligible to play the game. She said that she feels that this rule is discriminatory. Her team lost the championship game. 

The CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations), Maryland, has called for amendments in the rule. Zainab Chaudry of the CAIR stated that they have seen an increase in discrimination.

After the competition, the Maryland Public Secondary School Athletic Association stated "There should have been no denial of participation and we are committed to working with the school and the family to ensure this does not happen again."


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