Some athletes wear religious clothing that are visible to everyone, such as hijabs, kippahs, and turbans. These are head coverings that are worn by Muslim, Jewish, and Sikh athletes respectively, as a sign of their faith, identity, and culture. (Note: Jewish and Muslim women also wear turbans.) However, there are also some religious clothing that are not always easy to spot but are worn by some athletes in honor of their beliefs. These are:
- Tzitzit: These are ritual fringes that are attached to the corners of a four-cornered garment, such as a tallit or a tallit katan. A tallit is a prayer shawl that is worn over the clothes during prayer, while a tallit katan is a smaller garment that is worn under the clothes throughout the day. Both of these garments are commonly referred to as tzitzit, but they are not considered underwear. They are worn by Jewish males as a reminder of God and His commandments, as it says in Numbers 15:38-39: “Speak to the children of Israel and you shall say to them that they shall make for themselves fringes on the corners of their garments, throughout their generations, and they shall affix a thread of sky blue [wool] on the fringe of each corner. This shall be fringes for you, and when you see it, you will remember all the commandments of the Lord to perform them.” The tzitzit represent God’s 613 commandments, which are also the number of fringes on the tallit.
Some examples of athletes who wore tzitzit in their games are:
Tamir Goodman: He is an Israeli basketball player who wore a tzitzit under his jersey during a game against the Brooklyn Nets in 2019. Goodman, who is an Orthodox Jew, said that he wore the tzitzit to show his pride and identity as a Jew.
Eran Zahavi: He is an Israeli soccer player who wore a tzitzit over his jersey after scoring a goal against Albania in the UEFA Nations League in 2018. Zahavi, who is not religious, said that he wore the tzitzit as a gesture of solidarity with the victims of the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting that happened a few days earlier.
Cody Decker: He is an American baseball player who wore a tzitzit under his jersey during a game against the San Diego Padres in 2016. Decker, who is Jewish, said that he wore the tzitzit as a joke and a tribute to his friend and teammate Ike Davis, who is also Jewish.
- Mormon underwear: These are also known as temple garments. They are a type of underwear worn by members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) who have received their endowment in a temple. They are considered sacred and symbolic of the covenants made with God. Mormon athletes may choose to wear their garments under their sports uniforms, as long as they do not expose them or alter them.
Some examples of athletes who wore Mormon underwear in their careers are:
- Steve Young: He is an American football player who wore his garments under his jersey during his career. Young, who is an LDS member, said that he wore his garments to honor his faith and his family.
- Jabari Parker: He is an American basketball player who wore his garments under his jersey during his career. Parker, who is an LDS member, said that he wore his garments to show his respect and gratitude to God.
These are some examples of religious clothing that are not always visible but are worn by some athletes in honor of their beliefs. These athletes show how they express their faith through their clothing choices and how they inspire others with their talent and devotion.