A Sikh man has claimed that he was denied entry to a basketball match in the US because he was carrying a ‘kirpan’. Notably, ‘kirpan’ is a small sword, worn in a sheath on a strap or belt. It is an article of faith that initiated Sikhs are supposed to wear at all times.
The incident happened in Sacramento, California during a basketball match involving the professional North American basketball league NBA team Sacramento Kings. Taking to Twitter, the man named Mandeep Singh called the incident ”religious discrimination”, claiming that he was denied entry because of his ‘kirpan’. He also shared his photos from outside the stadium and inside a security room. He added that he talked to multiple people regarding the issue but to no avail.
”Unfortunate experiencing religious discrimination and being denied entry at the @SacramentoKings game tonight b/c Im #Sikh. Wouldn’t let me in bc of #kirpan. Spoke w/ multiple people up the security chain and none seem to understand. Been a fan since 96. Not so much anymore,” Mandeep Singh wrote on Twitter.
See the post here:
Unfortunate experiencing religious discrimination and being denied entry at the @SacramentoKings game tonight b/c Im #Sikh. Wouldn’t let me in bc of #kirpan. Spoke w/ multiple people up the security chain and none seem to understand. Been a fan since 96. Not so much anymore. #nbapic.twitter.com/1qG3sNzDf2
— Mandeep Singh (@Light0fMind) March 14, 2023
The tweet received mixed responses from Twitter users.
One user said, ”It will never be our land and their rules will always stand.” Another commented, ”The kings were the first NBA team with a Sikh player on their roster and have Sikh nights doubt they are discriminating. The Kirpan has always not been allowed inside NBA stadiums without proper accommodation planned ahead. Every Kings Sikh night this comes up.”
A third cited public safety reasons and said, ”I would hope the Kings don’t discriminate based on religion. I’ve seen the Kings represent Sikhs with Sikh Heritage Night and I think it’s great. I think the Kings didn’t allow your Kirpan in for public safety reasons, not because of religious discrimination.”
Kirpan is one of the integral parts of the five Sikh Kakars.
According to the website of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee, the five symbols of the Khalsa, all beginning with the letter K, are the kesh or long hair and beard, Kangha, a comb in the kesh to keep it tidy as against the recluses who kept it matted in token of their having renounced the world, Kara, a steel bracelet, Kachch, short breeches, and Kirpan, a sword.