Turban-wearing Bronco fans nearly turned away from NFL game, but that wasn’t the end of it

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Image: ABC 10News

Was it fearful backlash or legitimate security concern that almost caused three turban-wearing Bronco fans to be turned away from the game?

After a seven hour drive from Fresno to San Diego, the group of friends was glad to arrive at Qualcomm Stadium to watch the Denver Broncos play the Chargers.  They were decked out in Broncos fan attire, with one exception: three of them were wearing turbans.

For members of the Sikh religion, turbans are mandatory, but security officials at the stadium had a problem with that.

“Three of my buddies, they had turbans on, and it was like, you guys got to take the turbans off,” Verinder Malhi told 10News.  Eventually, a supervisor allowed them inside the stadium, but Malhi claimed they were told that if they return, it would be without the turbans.

The Sikh religion, generally regarded as peaceful, even pacifist, is related to Hinduism and principally practiced in the Punjab region of India.  Sikhs have no relation to Islam.

“Everybody kind of confusing us with the turbans, because what you see on TV is mostly the terrorists they wear turbans. But our turbans is different, our faith is different our beliefs are different.”

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Image: ABC 10News

With fresh memories of the Paris shootings and the San Bernardino massacre, it’s natural for many Americans to be extra cautious, especially at heavily-attended sporting events.  “It’s bad, I mean, this is embarrassing for me, because we are Americans at the end of the day. And we are not supposed to be afraid of fellow Americans.”

Adding insult to injury, a tailgater in the parking lot who observed the men putting items in the car trunk called the San Diego police about Malhi and his friends.  Officers responded with a bomb-sniffing dog, of which a fan snapped a picture.

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Image: ABC 10News

The dog found no evidence of a bomb, and Mahli said they placed the bag in the car when they realized they couldn’t take it into the stadium.

According to 10News, the city of San Diego is investigating the incident but noted that the security supervisor doesn’t work for the city.

Watch the video below.

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Steve Berman

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