x
Breaking News
More () »

WBNS-10TV Columbus, Ohio | Columbus News, Weather & Sports |

Ohio Senate passes bill protecting athletes' religious expression

The bill was inspired by an Ohio teen disqualified from a cross-country race for wearing a hijab without a required waiver.
Credit: WBNS-10TV / Chris Poturalski
File photo - The Ohio Statehouse

The Ohio Senate has approved legislation to protect athletes' religious expression.

The bill was inspired by an Ohio teen disqualified from a cross-country race for wearing a hijab without a required waiver.

The measure passed unanimously Wednesday prohibits school sports regulators from requiring advance waivers or otherwise restricting participants' religious apparel unless it causes a “legitimate danger."

Bill sponsor Sen. Theresa Gavarone researched the legislation based on the experience of Noor Abukaram, a suburban Toledo runner disqualified over her hijab in 2019.

The Ohio High School Athletic Association has since changed its rules to let referees approve such head coverings without a formal waiver.