On March 12, 2014, soccer player Samah Aidah was prohibited from wearing a headscarf during a school game. Samah, a young Muslim girl at Overland High School in Colorado, was asked by the referees to sit out because wearing the hijab in a game would have been “dangerous.” In response, the entire varsity soccer team, also known as Trailblazers, donned headscarves in solidarity with Samah.

The team did this even though they were not Muslim themselves. A teammate with the Twitter handle @DivineDavis tweeted that “the refs wouldn’t let Samah play with her hijab so today we all wore one for the game.”  Underneath the caption was a picture of them playing on the field with headscarves, which went viral. The post was retweeted more than 20, 000 times. This move helped the young Denver woman get back on the field.

A few of the many tweets of solidarity:


The players even got some attention from the rival team.

Although the Trailblazers team didn’t win that day, they were assured that thousands of people had their backs. This type of solidarity and support definitely empowered Samah to ultimately get back on the field and play with her team. However, this problem doesn’t end here. This problem is still open to debate.

It’s contentious because it occurred after FIFA, the world’s governing football body, lifted its ban on players from wearing head coverings.

FIFA Secretary-General Jerome Valcke at a meeting of the International Football Association Board (IFAB), the sport's lawmakers, in Zurich, mentioned that Muslim woman who wear the hijab on a daily basis will be allowed to play. Also male players who wear the turban will be granted permission after seeking request from the Sikh community leaders in Canada.

Denying Samah the right to participate in the team game due to her headscarf or hijab was harsh and disturbing, and a clear act of discrimination. But fortunately, Samah’s teammates supported her. A true team in every sense of the word.