Ohio bill would relax rules for athletes wearing religious clothing – By Pamela Manson (UPI) / March 30 2020
March 30 (UPI) — An Ohio legislator is sponsoring a bill that would ban requirements that student athletes get a waiver to wear religious apparel while competing.
Senate Bill 288 stems from the disqualification last fall of 16-year-old high school junior Noor Alexandria Abukaram from a cross-country track meet because she was wearing a hijab, a head scarf worn by Muslim women. Race officials said that under an Ohio High School Athletic Association rule, she was required to have a waiver to exempt her from a rule prohibiting headwear, and her coach had not submitted one.
Sen. Theresa Gavarone, the bill’s sponsor, said her legislation is designed to protect religious expression for everyone.
“I want to make sure a student athlete doesn’t have to choose between their religion and participating in sports,” Gavarone, R-Bowling Green, said.