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The rugby player from Black England reveals she feels like her afro hair is a ‘spectacle’


Black England rugby player reveals she feels her afro hair is a ‘spectacle’ in the sport and has been asked ‘silly’ questions her white colleagues won’t get

The rugby player, who has won 10 caps for the England women’s national team, says she felt she had to change her afro to “fit in” with her sport.

Sadia Kabia, who also plays at club level for the Loughborough Lightning FC, spoke about her career in a column in which she argued that there should be a broader discussion of black women’s hair in mainstream sport.

The Lewisham-born perfumer, 21, also claimed in the column that she was asked questions about her long hair that she thought she wouldn’t be asked if she was white.

Claiming that her hair is sometimes seen as a ‘spectacle’, she said that sometimes others are better off keeping questions and comments to themselves and argued that unless you were born with afro hair, you are unlikely to understand the ‘deep roots’. The connection of a black woman with her hair.

“A little comment about a black girl’s hair could be something that rings around her head for the next couple of days,” she said.

Sadia Capia, a rugby player who has 10 caps for England, has revealed that her hair feels like an afro and the braids she wears are a “spectacle” in the sport as she advocates for measures to make black women feel more welcome.

Sadie, who sometimes chooses to wear her hair in longer braids, explained to BBC That people often have the misconception that black women choose a style because of how it looks.

The ace of rugby argued that wearing her hair in braids gives her confidence, is practical for her and is a “protective style” that helps preserve her natural hair underneath.

If she played with her natural hair, she explained it would get badly damaged and end up “everywhere”.

She explained that protective hairstyles are rooted in heritage and tradition.

Sadia, 21 (pictured taking home the Allianz Premier 15s last year) said she gets asked questions about the length of her hair that she can't believe.

Sadia, 21 (pictured taking home the Allianz Premier 15s last year) said she gets asked questions about the length of her hair that she can’t believe.

In terms of her lifestyle, the rugby player also revealed that having her hair in braids means she can easily go out after matches with her teammates (something that often happens in rugby) without having to worry about styling her hair.

If she had worn it in a natural style to match, she explained that it would take her nearly three hours to style it in a way that she would be happy to “feel and look great.”

“At first I decided not to go out,” she said. But with braids, I can rugby with the hair I want and still look good and feel great afterwards. I felt like I could cope.

Despite playing at the top of her game, Sadia revealed that some people have made comments to her that made her feel as though her hair was “unacceptable in rugby”.

She has claimed that she has been spoiled throughout her rugby career by “capricious” and “naive” questions about her hair – especially people asking why she plays in long braids.

“If I weren’t a person of color and my hair was naturally long, I don’t think I would get those comments,” she said.

As she tries to encourage more black girls to take up rugby at an early age, Sadia has revealed the ways she believes the sport can make them feel like they fit in.

She explains that when she sleeps, she wraps her hair in a satin head scarf to keep it neat.

While playing on the field, she is required to wear a scrum cap to protect her hair, but she thinks adding a satin underlay would be better.

She described black women who play rugby as a “niche community” but added that she believes such small changes can help make them feel more welcome and increase the number of black women in the sport.

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