Turbaned Conservative Minister Uppal Faces Racists On Tennis Court

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“A woman leaving the tennis court looked at me and my wife and said ‘Are they members? Why can’t they play in the day – they don’t have jobs,'” tweeted bearded and turbaned Sikh multiculturalism minister Tim Uppal.

EDMONTON – Canada’s bearded and turbaned Sikh multiculturalism minister says he and his wife were victims of a racist remark uttered by a player at a tennis court in Ottawa.

Minister of State for Multiculturalism Tim Uppal, who sports a long beard and a turban, tweeted Monday about the remark, recounting an incident he says occurred at an unnamed tennis club in the city earlier this week, reported CTV News.

“A woman leaving the tennis court looked at me and my wife and said ‘Are they members? Why can’t they play in the day – they don’t have jobs,'” he tweeted.

A number of Twitter users retweeted and replied to the comment, expressing their outrage.

Uppal is one of just a handful of MPs to sport a turban and he is the only member of federal Cabinet to wear one. The minister took to Twitter to express his feelings about the comments.

It’s unclear where, exactly, the member for Edmonton-Sherwood Park was at the time. His office did not return immediate requests for comment, reported Canada.com.

Uppal didn’t tweet anything in the 16 hours following that post, despite several requests for more details.

But he later thanked everyone for their support in a Facebook post.

“Canada is an incredibly diverse and pluralistic country that embraces the values of tolerance and equality of opportunity. The comments directed at me and my family at an Ottawa tennis court were ignorant and disappointing to hear. While we are disturbed to encounter racism and bigotry and condemn it in all forms, I will take this opportunity to relay the importance to educators and parents to continue to teach their children about the fundamental Canadian value of respect,” Uppal wrote on Facebook.

He was first elected in 2008 and has previously served as Minister of State for Democratic Reform.

Uppal’s YouTube channel features a number of speeches and question period answers about issues of race, quality and multiculturalism in Canada, including the political correctness of “Marry Christmas,” reported Canada.com