Compromise On Orthodox Basketball Player’s Shirt
Basketball governing body allowed Naama Shafir to wear skin-toned elastic sleeves under game shirt.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 6/19/2011, 5:13 PM
A compromise has been reached in the dispute over an orthodox Israeli basketball player who insisted on wearing modest clothing to an important match.
The Israeli national team and FIBA, basketball's governing body, agreed on a solution that allows Israel’s Naama Shafir to compete in the European women's championship this week.
FIBA Europe spokesman Sakis Kontos said Shafir was given approval to wear short skin-toned elastic sleeves under her jersey.
She had originally asked to wear a T-shirt under the jersey because of Jewish modesty rules but FIBA refused, saying regulations require all players to wear identical uniforms. It changed its mind after the decision was called “insensitive” by the Israeli team and Jewish organizations. The Tzohar Rabbis in Israel asked Sport and Culture Minister Limor Livnat to intervene.
Shafir wore the elastic sleeves at the team's game against the Czech Republic Saturday night, which the Czechs won 72-56.
Shafir plays basketball at Toledo, Ohio, where she is allowed to compete wearing a T-shirt.
Well-known journalist Kalman Libeskind of Maariv blasted the hypocrisy of “ultra-feminist agenda-setting radio presenters” in Israel, who remained silent on the affair. They would have mounted an aggressive campaign, he jabbed, “had it only been an Arab female player who wanted to pray at halftime or a lesbian guard who insisted on wearing socks in the colors of the Rainbow Coalition.”