Competitors in sports and games should not be excluded
because of their beliefs. Let all play.
by Jennifer S. Bryson (Founder, Let All Play)
“Equipment must not have any political, religious or personal slogans, statements or images.”
International Football Association Board (IFAB),
"Laws of the Game,"
Law 4, Section 5
"Soccer’s governing bodies should follow their own rules, which were designed to foster inclusivity, and ban political rainbow jerseys..."
"When all are allowed to play, we are truly inclusive."
"Why should a soccer player face a choice between her career and wearing a Pride Month jersey? Why should the willingness to wear a Pride Month rainbow jersey be the measure for deciding which athletes represent America in the arena of international sports?"
"Sports should encourage the exercise of civility. In stepping onto the field or into the stands, we should agree to disagree about a wide range of personal and political issues. This is not just to be polite. It is to ensure that all are welcome..."
"Athletes should be judged on talent, heart, and work ethic—not politics."
"Our national sports teams should represent the whole country, not any one political niche."
“Forcing... foreign guests to wear a hijab is not a sporting thing.”
Wold Cup Winner
World Record Holder
photo by Pratap Vinayagam
"...there should be no precondition that players wear religious garb or a religious or political symbol with which they disagree in order for them to be allowed to compete."
4 Feb 2019
"Sports and games are valuable as shared civic spaces where all, regardless of religion or no religion, regardless of political views, participate together and compete solely on merit...We need to protect the shared nature of these fields of competition to assure international sports and games continue to be open to all without anyone coopting them as platforms for particular religious or political agendas."
Public Discourse, 4 Feb 2019
“I do not wish to be forced to wear a scarf or burka.”
There is “no place for an enforceable religious dress code in sports.”
photo Stefan64 - CC BY-SA 3.0
"In a world filled with inter-religious tensions, precisely non-religious activities such as sports can provide a public space in which those who are different can find ways to participate together."
Allowing religious headgear in sports opens the playing field not only to Muslim girls and women but also to Sikh and Jewish boys and men.
"...requiring sameness in public spaces strips them of their public character, holding them hostage to narrow, private prejudice. If our public realms are to be inclusive and reflect the true diversity of humanity, then these spaces, including soccer fields and weightlifting mats, need to include the freedom for religious believers to be who they are—and to come as they are."