Arena staffer reportedly tells woman to remove hijab before entering Nuggets game

Denver Nuggets
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Last season, a Nuggets fan told Enes Kanter, “Go back to Turkey. Oh wait, you can’t!

It seems Denver was the site of another unfortunate incident earlier this month.

Council on American-Islamic Relations:

On Wednesday, November 13, the Colorado chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Colorado) will hold a news conference at the Colorado Muslim Society with Gazella Bensreiti, an American Muslim mother of three who was reportedly asked to remove her Islamic head scarf (hijab) in order to enter the Pepsi Center to watch her daughter perform the National Anthem.

When the Pepsi Center employee at Will Call allegedly told her to, “take that thing off” or not be allowed entrance (in reference to her hijab) Gazella asked to be allowed to remove it in private, in front of a woman. She was refused and subsequently subjected to public humiliation in front of staff, students and other parents, until her daughter became distraught, believing her mom would not be allowed in to see her perform.

Noelle Phillips of The Denver Post:

Becca Villanueva, a spokeswoman for Kroenke Sports & Entertainment, said in an emailed statement there was a misunderstanding “when a security agent didn’t recognize that Ms. Bensreiti was wearing a hijab. A supervisor quickly intervened, and Ms. Bensreiti entered.”

Hopefully, this was only an isolated incident due to ignorance. It can be a learning opportunity for the employee who told Bensreiti to remove the hijab. That employee would’ve been wrong, but it’s not an irredeemable error.

But the possibility exists of malice and/or systematic mistreatment of minorities at the arena. The Nuggets should investigate.