murphy 031621SPRINGFIELD – More students could represent their schools feeling comfortable, confident and included under a proposed measure from State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines) that would allow student athletes to modify their athletic uniforms to adhere to cultural, faith-based or physical comfort requirements.

“Athletic uniforms are about establishing a sense of unity among team members, but in certain situations, they can unintentionally exclude groups of students,” Murphy said. “By allowing athletes more flexibility in the design of their uniforms, we can give every student the opportunity to represent their school with pride.”

Murphy’s proposed legislation would enable student athletes at public K-12 schools, colleges and universities, and community colleges in Illinois to modify their athletic or team uniform for the purpose of adhering to the clothing requirements of their religion.

From youth sports to the Olympics, athletes of faith have often had to request special permission to wear modified uniforms, such as longer hems, headscarves and jerseys with sleeves. Safety is often cited as the concern against modest uniforms, but thanks to recent advancements in performance apparel, more breathable, low-profile sportswear options now allow athletes of all backgrounds to compete safely and confidently.

“Inclusivity is a critical component of a healthy school environment for all our students,” Murphy said. “Any student athlete, regardless of their cultural or religious background, deserves to feel like part of the team.”

Senate Bill 1784, an initiative of the IL Muslim Civic Coalition, passed the Education Committee Tuesday and now heads to the full Senate.