Maddy Paige is one of those girls we want to hang out with. She is fun, laid back, and plays sports. One of the sports she plays is football. Like most schools, her school doesn't have a girls' football team, so she plays on the boys' team.
Or rather, she played.
Recently, 12-year-old Maddy Paige was told she could not play 7th-grade football because boys on the team might "lust" after her. Because, you know, of her lady parts. Her preteen lady parts. The school further released a statement that it believed that “middle school girls play girl sports and middle school boys play boy sports.”
Sigh. Obviously this crushed Maddy, who started playing football because her dad and grandfather both loved the sport. On the Facebook page for Maddy, Let Her Play, she wrote:
When I was told my gender would prevent me from continuing my dream I was crushed. I felt like my heart fell on the floor and the school stomped on it. I worked hard to earn my spot and I deserve to play.
Reading this makes us so sad. We would have hated to be kicked off our sports in middle or high school—whether you play on your gender's team or not—because of something as superficial as this. We understand there are sometimes limitations when it comes to sports and gender (and that there's not always a spot for everyone, hence try-outs), but it seems like Maddy was doing well and earned her spot on the team.
We can't imagine this has never happened before. But fortunately, Maddy is tenacious and her parents support her football-playing ways. We're sure there were many girls before her that were forced to accept these sexist decisions, or couldn't get help from their parents.
What do you think? Has something like this ever happened to you or one of your friends?