Young Female Athletes Negotiate Requirements of Muslim Faith and Sports

September 13, 2002

Source: The Plain Dealer

On September 13, 2002 The Plain Dealer featured an article on the Farley-Samad family of Shaker Heights, Ohio. The four sisters all played sports at Shaker Heights High, and negotiated the requirements of their Muslim faith through their athletic careers. The girls had "letters of exemption from the Ohio High School Athletic Association" (OHSAA) so they could wear their hijab during games.  "Even when they are playing sports - a combination of basketball, track, cross country and volleyball for each - they wrap up their hair and pull on long pants...  Susan Brown, now the girls athletic director at Shaker, grew close to the family while coaching... As the basketball coach, she took the annual responsibility of tracking down the OHSAA letters. She tried to head off the referees' questions before they reached her players... And she let the girls slip out of practice for the afternoon prayer or a quick sandwich that ended a day of fasting during Ramadan."