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The intersection of sports and activism: fighting for cover

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Ibtihaj Muhammad speaks out against Islamophobia and is celebrated for making sports history as the first Black Muslim woman to represent the United States in hijab. (US Olympics photo)

Shireen Ahmed

Contributor

©2016, The Shadow League

Ibtihaj Muhammad speaks out against Islamophobia and is celebrated for making sports history as the first Black Muslim woman to represent the United States in hijab. (US Olympics photo)
Ibtihaj Muhammad speaks out against Islamophobia and is celebrated for making sports history as the first Black Muslim woman to represent the United States in hijab. (US Olympics photo)

During the greatest sports event, there is a buzz of excitement from athletes, sports media and fans who are engrossed in the glory, the defeat and all the drama of the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, Brazil. We see athletes, coaches of all races, religions and gender identity. These Games have been the catalyst for many discussions around issues of social justice and brought attention to the roles that women have played in leading what are considered battles.

In an era when fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad speaks out against Islamophobia and is celebrated for making sports history as the first Black Muslim woman to represent the United States in hijab, some sports federations are still pondering whether hijab (a traditional headscarf that covers the face and the neck, or can be worn in a turban style) is acceptable on a basketball court.

At the intersections of sports and social activism, there often stand strong female athletes. Over last few years, these women have publicly advocated for crucial issues in social justice. WNBA teams have spoken openly and defied uniform bans because of their commitment to #BlackLivesMatter; the USA women’s soccer team, reigning world champions, rallied for financial equity from their #EqualPlayEqualPay.

These women have inspired and will continue to encourage athletes to fight for justice and change the world through different platforms.

For the last two years, a small – yet mighty- group of female basketball players have been mobilizing for sporting equality while using the #FIBAAllowHijab hashtag; they are pushing to solidify the right to wear headscarves as they play.

For full story…  TheShadowLeague.com

 

This story originally appeared on TheShadowLeague.com, a site dedicated to journalistically sound sports coverage with a cultural perspective that insightfully informs sports fans worldwide.