Toronto Raptors Release Team-branded Sports Hijab

The team's parent company MLSE says the move is a first for an NBA team

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.

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.

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.