Runner disqualified over hijab inspires new Ohio legislation

Noor Abukaram said she felt humiliated after being disqualified last weekend following a race in which she posted her best time for the season. (WTOL)
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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A state senator says her new legislative proposal to help protect athletes' religious expression was inspired by an Ohio teen disqualified from a cross-country race for wearing a hijab without a required waiver.

The bill introduced Wednesday would prohibit school sports regulators from requiring advance waivers or otherwise restricting participants' religious apparel unless it causes a “legitimate danger."

The proposal was supported by Noor Abukaram, the Sylvania Northview runner disqualified over her hijab last fall.

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

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