Officials were playing by the rules
As the wife of a basketball player, commissioner, coach and official, I found the March 15 Sports article “After playing all year, Watkins Mill girl is held out of game for wearing a hijab” misleading.
The rule on non-uniform apparel is clearly stated by the National Federation of State High School Associations. That the coach and officials disregarded the rule and allowed Je’Nan Hayes to play during the regular season while wearing her headscarf does not mean tournament officials also should have neglected the regulation.
An administrator with Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association asked if the headscarf would “create an inherent risk.” Well, yes. Any loose or open clothing can create a risk for the individual player and others on the court. Hayes said she would have understood her inability to play “if it was some reason like my shirt wasn’t the right color.” How unfortunate that she believed her denial of playing in the tournament was because of religious intolerance.
Stasia Rhoads, Alexandria