The Toronto Raptors have unveiled the first team-branded Nike Pro Hijab. Inspired by the Hijabi Ballers, a local community group, the NBA champion team collaborated with Nike to design the sports hijabs. They feature the Raptors claw on one side and the Nike tick on the other.
The team revealed the hijab with a video in which Muslim women can be seen playing basketball. “Inspired by those brave enough to change the game,” tweeted the team’s official account, while in the video, one woman comments, “Growing up, I didn’t have so many role models that looked like me. It’s about Muslim females not having to give up their identity or feeling like they have to sacrifice some portion of their identity, but also still play whatever sport they want.” The women in the video are members of the Hijabi Ballers which is a Toronto-based athletic club that promotes Muslim women in sports.
Inspired by those brave enough to change the game.
— Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) September 13, 2019
“We’re excited and humbled to partner with none other than the 2019 NBA Champions @raptors to present our mandate to the world – celebrating and increasing opportunities for Muslim girls and women in sport – as they launch the new Toronto Raptors @Nike Pro Hijab!” the club announced on Instagram.
Owned by Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, the Toronto Raptors have claimed to be the first team in the National Basketball Association to offer an athletic hijab, according to The Associated Press. The Toronto Raptors say the new line of team-branded hijabs is part of an effort to be more inclusive to fans of all cultures.
The Raptors hijab costs USD40 (AED147) and is currently only available to purchase in-store at the Real Sports Apparel. The classic Nike Pro Hijab is available on nike.com and Nike stores across the Middle East at select retailers in more than 20 countries, including the UAE and Lebanon priced at AED/SAR99.
Since its release in December 2017, the Nike Pro Hijab has increasingly gained popularity with Muslim athletes like Olympic fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad and Emirati figure skater Zahra Lari donning the lightweight head-piece. Earlier this year it was announced as one of the most searched for clothing terms in the world.