#BeLikeDarsh Fights Hate, Celebrates Sikh Basketball Pioneer

By Sameer Rao Dec 09, 2015

Darsh Preet Singh made history as the first turban-wearing Sikh-American basketball player in the NCAA, and his jersey hangs in a Smithsonian Museum. After a photo of him playing was used to create racist memes, friends and supporters resolved to change the narrative and fight hate with the #BeLikeDarsh hashtag. 

The turnaround started on Sunday (December 6), when Greg Worthington, a friend of Singh’s, posted on Facebook, saying that he noticed his friend’s likeness in a racist post that read: "Nobody at school wants to guard Muhammad, he’s too explosive":


Let me tell you why this shit isn’t funny. I know this guy and his name’s not ‘Muhammad.’ He’s not Arab, he’s Punjabi….

Posted by Greg Worthington on Saturday, December 5, 2015

In the days since, #BeLikeDarsh (a play on "Be Like Mike") made waves on social media, often accompanying the same images of Singh playing used in racist memes, to celebrate Singh’s legacy and historical achievement:

The last of the tweets above came from Singh’s wife, Lakhpreet Kaur, a writer and activist who wrote about her and her husband’s experiences with racism for NBC News last year.  

Singh, who has a background in national security work and serves as a fellow with the Truman National Security Project, posted to his Facebook on Monday, December 7, to thank supporters and advise them on how else they can help fight racism: 


Thank you again to all of those who expressed support. Many folks have asked how they can help more than just sharing a…

Posted by Darsh Preet Singh on Monday, December 7, 2015


(H/t NBC News, NBC News)

Note: Piece has been corrected to reflect that Greg Worthington was not a Trinity University Classmate of Darsh Singh, as was previously stated.