As part of a broader effort to to be more inclusive to fans of all cultures and religious beliefs, Canadian basketball team Toronto Raptors has offered a new line of team-branded hijabs, CBC reported.
The team’s parent company, Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment (MLSE), unveiled the Nike Pro hijabs emblazoned with the team logo in a social media post on Friday.
“Inspired by those brave enough to change the game. The Toronto Raptors Nike Pro Hijab is available now,” it wrote on Twitter.
Inspired by those brave enough to change the game.
— Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) September 13, 2019
According to MLSE Senior Marketing Director Jerry Ferguson, the organization was inspired to create the hijabs by a local Muslim women’s organization known as the Hijabi Ballers.
Ferguson added that the Raptors want to send a message of inclusion to its widely diverse fan base, which grew substantially during the playoff run that saw the team win its first NBA championship earlier this year.
The move prompted plenty of positive reaction online.
I love this so much. This movement is huge b/c rather than saying their about inclusivity and diversity, they’re actually taking action and implementing it. As a Muslim women who wears the hijab and plays sports, I wanna say thank you and well done ❤️👏🏻
— Fatima Ingar (@Ingar43) September 13, 2019
The 2019 NBA Champions @Raptors have released a @Nike #hijab for all the ballers, fans and everyone else who wants an amazing headcovering. This matters. Props to @hijabiballers for being the real MVP. Hijab available at @RealSports.https://t.co/3WMfE21CHL
— Shireen Footybedsheets Ahmed (@_shireenahmed_) September 13, 2019
Just sent off my 14 year old daughter to her Pakman Volleyball tryouts in this Nike Hijab since she decided this year to start wearing a Hijab. Thank you @Raptors @Nike for supporting our hijabi girls. #WeTheNorth https://t.co/3FGHnQqrQm
— HMousa (@hebamousa83) September 13, 2019
Islam sees hijab as an obligatory code of dress, not a religious symbol displaying one’s affiliations.
In 2018, Nike launched the Nike Pro Hijab to give Muslim athletes a late, but deserved, representation in global athletic sportswear.