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"Bigger than sports": Soccer players halt game, huddle together so opponent can fix her hijab

When a player's hijab fell off, her opponents decided to support her instead of taking advantage of the situation.

"Bigger than sports": Soccer players halt game, huddle together so opponent can fix her hijab

Most times, not everyone will see eye to eye. Whether that's politically, socially, or even when it comes to the little things like whether pineapple belongs on pizza, disagreement is just a part of life (unless it's centered on the oppression of minority communities, of course). What matters most, especially in an age when it feels like we can't all get along, is the small gestures of humanity and kindness that we extend to one another. That's why this special moment went viral when a video was shared on social media platform Twitter. During a soccer match in Jordan between two local women's football clubs, a player's hijab slipped off while she was surrounded by her opponents. Instead of continuing the game and perhaps even taking advantage of the situation, players from the opposing team huddled together around the player until she readjusted her hijab and could get back to the game. Talk about sportsmanship!


The moment was captured by sports channel ESPN, which shared the video on Twitter, stating, "Bigger than sports. When a soccer player's hijab started falling off to reveal her hair, her opponents gathered around to provide cover while she fixed it." Of course, the video immediately went viral, with thousands of users across the globe appreciating the players' act of kindness. One user responded, "Maybe there is hope for this world." Another cheekily added, "As long as women are in charge there will always be hope."



On the other hand, there were individuals who used the opportunity to criticize the practice of wearing a hijab in the first place. One user posted in response to the video, "True hope would be leaving the hijab on the ground [where] it belongs instead of cowering in fear." Another asked, "Wouldn’t it be nice to live in a world where women didn’t have to cover their hair just to appease a make-believe invisible man in the sky?" Another still added, "Notice her teammates are free to wear their hair out and she was afraid to let her show as if she would die. Fear of death in religion is scary."


While it's easy to pass judgments, the important thing to remember here is that everyone is entitled to make their own choices - and that's what we should respect. As long as our choices aren't hurting those around us, who's to say what we can and can't do? With regard to women particularly, for far too long societies have felt comfortable, perhaps even obligated, to control their decisions. From what they wear to the professions they're allowed to pursue, women have been at the mercy and command of the men in power around them. To see an accomplished soccer player wearing a hijab challenges the traditional notion of what an oppressed — or alternatively, what an empowered — woman looks like. And not everyone's comfortable with having their preconceived notions challenged. But you know what we say to them? Piss. Off. Women protecting women is everything.


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