I just saw an article from Fox Sports titled “Abby Wambach, Mia Hamm reach out to 8-year-old disqualified from tournament for ‘looking like a boy’”.
I see a headline like that and I just think to myself… really? This is the point we are at in this world? Lets give everyone a participation trophy, (story for another day) but you’re going to disqualify an 8 year old girl, her whole team actually, from a soccer game because she looks like a boy? Seriously!! Don’t worry… I’ll wait for someone to explain to me how that’s even a thing.
But of course, if you dig deeper, you’ll eventually find a logical reason for everything, right? First off no, there is no logical reason for this to have happened. But nonetheless, the Springfield Soccer Association tried to explain and justify it, claiming Mili Hernandez was disqualified because the roster mistakenly had her down as a boy.
First off… what? Second, this happened four hours before kick off. And C, Mili’s father even tried to show officials her insurance card proving she was a girl. The fact that this action even had to take place is absolutely mind boggling. And the fact that officials didn’t care is worse.
You have to love the quote from Nebraska State Soccer though. Even though they did not oversee this tournament, they shared their thoughts on the issue. “While Nebraska State Soccer did not oversee the Springfield Tournament, we recognize that our core values were simply not present this past weekend at this tournament and we apologize to this young girl, her family and her soccer club for this unfortunate misunderstanding… We believe that this needs to be a learning moment for everyone involved with soccer in our state and are working directly with our clubs and tournament officials to ensure that this does not happen again.”
Yup, in 2017 we still have to tell people that this is not an okay thing to do. I feel bad for this young girl, I really do. There’s enough of a stigma floating around women’s athletics and physical appearances (which we saw most recently with the Aly Raisman/TSA situation). This certainly doesn’t help the issue.
But I have to say, good on Mia Hamm and Abby Wambach for reaching out and showing their support to the young girl. And to Mia, get out their and keep having fun. Show them what it means to “Play like a Girl” and put that stigma to bed. You are perfect just the way you are and as long as you’re happy, anyone who says otherwise is abusing their privilege to be stupid.