Woman Allegedly Told to Take Off Her Hijab at Pepsi Center
A Denver woman is speaking out about an incident at the Pepsi Center where she says she was asked to remove her hijab before entering the arena.
Gazella Bensreiti tells The Denver Channel that she's been to the Pepsi Center many times, but the last time was very different. In a press conference yesterday, Bensreiti explained the incident that upset her:
"When I entered Will Call the security person that was working immediately waved at me and told me that I had to 'take that thing off' of my head."
Bensreiti said she responded to the security guard immediately, explaining that it was for religious purposes. According to Bensreiti, the guard responded saying she "didn't care." Bensreiti said that she would be willing to take it off, but she wanted a more private setting. Her request was denied so she asked to speak with with a supervisor, who quickly ushered her into the center "without making eye contact."
Bensreiti was at the arena with her daughter, who was set to perform the National Anthem before a Denver Nuggets game.
The Pepsi Center responded to the incident in the Denver Post:
We look forward to engaging in honest discourse that leads to greater awareness and an opportunity to further celebrate the diversity that makes Denver such a special place. While the matter is still under review, we are taking steps to modify our screening process and provide additional education for our staff.
Source: The Denver Channel