Senator Murphy

SPRINGFIELD – More students will be able to represent their schools comfortably and confidently under a measure sponsored by State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines) to give students more flexibility in the design of their athletic uniforms, which has passed both chambers of the Illinois legislature.

“Some athletic uniforms can be a barrier to students who want to compete for their school. The simple addition of long sleeves, leggings or a head scarf can make all the difference for diversity and inclusion on the team,” Murphy said. “The passage of this legislation shows kids across the state that we stand with them—no matter their background.”

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 to be in accordance with their cultural values, modesty standards or 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.

“Every student deserves the chance to stay active and have fun alongside their friends and teammates,” Murphy said. “I’m proud to see this legislation open the door for more students to pursue a sport that could become a lifelong hobby—or even a profession.”

House Bill 120, an initiative of the IL Muslim Civic Coalition, passed the Senate Thursday with bipartisan support.