Petitioning through Change.org : Mr Lubomir Kotleba, Sports Director, FIBA and Mr Yvan Mainini, President FIBA (International Basketball Federation)
We started this online petition on Change.org from 26 July 2014 to protest the discriminatory treatment meted out to two Indian Sikh Players minutes before their match with China on 12 July 2014. Sikhs have always sported a Turban or a Patka during Sports and never have been asked to remove their headgear.
Exactly opposite happened last month to two young basketball players from India -Amarpal and Amjyot Singh. They were representing India at the Asia Cup Championship in China.
Just before the game, both of them were asked to remove their turbans (patka) if they wanted to play. They were told that wearing turbans violated the rules of the International Basketball Federation (FIBA).
This is a shame! How can our country’s top sportsmen be humiliated like that? We sought support and asked people to sign this petition to ask FIBA to change its policies. Sikhs should be able to play with their turban on if they want to.
The faith and religion of Sikhs is their identity. FIBA’s policies should be more sensitive to people’s faith. FIBA is meeting on 27 Aug 2014at Spain to review their decision on Turban ban.
If atleast 50,000 people sign this petition, FIBA will know that this is an issue of great importance and change its policies to be more sensitive. We have had support from all corners, across all religions, across all castes and colour nationally and internationally. Milkha Singh-The Flying Sikh, Bishan Singh Bedi-Master Spinner, Indian Idol Devender Pal Singh and Singer Yo Yo Honey Singh have already sent their support through the below videos.
Support has also poured in on Twitter from Actress Gul Panag, Actor Jaaved Jaaferi, Singer Gurdas Mann, Actor Diljit Dosanjh, Comedian Nick Duggal, Lawyer & Filmamker Valarie Kaur, Singer Harshdeep Kaur, Musician Jazzy B and hundreds of other celebrities.
We appeal through your prestigious columns that all readers should sign this petition and forward the message to atleast 5 of their friends & family.
Let us support our country’s sportsmen in every way that we can! Do your bit NOW!