Arash Afshari

For some students, uniforms may cause feelings of exclusion, resulting in disunity within a team.

Zayna Sheikh, Editor

Sports uniforms are meant to establish a standard of unity amongst athletes on a team. However,  in certain situations, they can inadvertently exclude groups of students. Among these are minority students, including Muslims, who maintain a more modest principle of fashion due to personal choice or religious restrictions. Regardless of the circumstance, measures should be taken to ensure that every athlete can feel comfortable in what they wear.

Sophomore Manaal Sheikh has personally experienced the predicament faced by many Muslim girls in an effort to maintain her religious standards of modesty while also participating in sports teams with more revealing uniforms. While her solution is to simply wear something over or under the sportswear, Sheikh knows that the deeper issues of inclusivity and comfort are not as easily fixed.  

“It is important for sportswear to be inclusive of Muslim athletes because there are Muslims who don’t feel represented by these sports. Sometimes I feel awkward when I have to wear things under sportswear,” said Sheikh.

Junior Ghania Asim has also faced a similar roadblock: upon effort to join cross country, she discovered that she could not wear the sleeveless uniform.

“It definitely is annoying, and I feel frustrated because I feel like I’m closed off for opportunities that I would enjoy,” said Asim.

The lack of effort to make alternative clothing for students like Sheikh and Asim can create alienation for students who would otherwise excel in the sport. No student should be hindered by an obstacle that can be so easily fixed.

Beyond personal issues of modesty, the enforcement of uniforms for male and female athletes sometimes reflects sexist and objectifying standards, whether or not these are intentional. In the case of the Dazzlers, females wear tight tops and short skirts, while the male Dazzlers wear shorts and loose shirts.  

Dazzler Jules Soto is on the varsity team as a junior and has witnessed this disparity firsthand.

“The male Dazzlers get to wear a loose polo and jeans while the females have to wear a short skirt and a tight top. I’ve heard complaints that the skirt is too revealing, especially when going up the stairs or bending over. The male Dazzlers seem more comfortable than us on Spirit days because they are covered and do not have to worry about slip ups,” said Soto.

This discrepancy is slight but important. If we enforce female athletes to wear tighter and more revealing uniforms when we don’t enforce male athletes to follow the same standard, what does this say about how we view women? Our uniforms should be altered to widen the scope of inclusivity and allow all students to feel comfortable while representing their school, whether it’s on a field, a gym, or a pool.