Pardeep Nagra is a follower of the Sikh faith who competed in boxing in the late 1990s. The Canadian boxing board blocked him from entering a tournament in 1999 on account of his refusal to shave his beard.
Maintaining a beard and long hair wrapped in a turban is a method of worship for the religion. Sikhs believe they would lose all of their strength should they shave or cut their hair.
Nagra was unwilling to sell-out his religious beliefs and found himself transferring his fighting spirit to a battle for human rights. This amazing true story is the subject of ‘Tiger’, a boxing flick set for release this year.
Nagra followed in the footsteps of Muhammad Ali. He too refused to sacrifice his faith for his career or public persona. The most compelling sports stories involve adversity outside of the ring.
My dissertation actually explored true stories of combat sports athletes fighting for human rights. I am very invested in this story.
Mickey Rourke portrays Frank Donovan, Nagra’s coach. The sports flick was directed by Alister Grierson.
‘Tiger’ is set for a limited release in the USA on November 2nd. The distribution will expand from there, hopefully to the UK and beyond. These kinds of stories mean a lot to me and need to be told.