Je’Nan Hayes is a basketball player at Watkins Mill high school in Maryland who six weeks ago was forced to sit out a game, after being told that she was not allowed to participate because she wears a hijab (see High School Basketball Player Gets Benched For Wearing Hijab).
Thanks to Je’Nan’s activism (and yes, press), the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association recently amended a rule that requires a waiver for someone wearing a hijab (which led a ref barring Je’Nan from playing in a game because her high school did not have one).
The new rule states that basketball players in Maryland no longer need a state-approved waiver for religious garments. “It was just an amazing feeling, and I was really excited,” says Je’Nan, a junior at Watkins Mill. “I almost burst into tears because I was so happy.”
MPSSAA executive director Andy Warner explained in a letter that the new rule provides a blanket waiver for “head covering, wrap, or other required religious garment” that is not dangerous or likely to come off during the game.