We should all take a page from this team's playbook
These days it seems like the news is nothing but depressing. Then, a story comes along that gives us all a little bit of hope for the future. Sure, the story of a team of 10-year-olds deciding to stand up to the injustice of gender discrimination on the basketball court might not be much, but it’s something that will definitely make you feel a little bit better about where we are heading—and something that we could all stand to take a cue from.
An Impossible Choice
The CYO sports league in NJ offers an athletics program for Catholic schools in the area with offerings for boys and girls—so long as they play separately. Well, that’s what one team learned the hard way last week. The CYO JV Basketball team from St. John’s in Clark was told that they had to make a choice: drop out of the rest of the season (two more games, maybe playoffs) or kick their two female players off of the team.
After all these years…
See, St. John’s CYO team had been running as co-ed for years with an okay from the organization because of a perceived lack of interest from female players at such a young age—which is great of them to do in the first place.
What’s not so great is that after four years of allowing the children to play co-ed, they decided that ten years of age was too old for that, and that the two female players had in fact been competing in the league illegally throughout the season. Why this changed all of the sudden is unclear, especially considering that the boys’ team these girls had always played on was still the only options for the them as there was still no girls’ team for them to join.
Do the Right Thing
The coaches and children tried to resist, and, despite receiving a notification that the girls could not continue to play, they showed up as a united team to their next game. When they arrived, the CYO refs informed the coaches that they had been instructed to refuse to officiate if the girls played. Outraged at the news, the team took a vote… and their reaction was incredible.
Rather than play without their longtime teammates, every single player on the team voted to forfeit the game and the rest of the season, thus having their season record wiped clean.