That’s a pretty dumb reason to forfeit, obvi.
On Friday in Arizona, the Mesa’s Faith Christian boys soccer team refused to play against Foothills Academy College Prep. Why? Foothills Prep has two female players on their team.
In Scottsdale through the Canyon Athletic Association – when the school district lacks enough students to make up both a male and female team – girls are allowed play alongside the boys if they demonstrate the necessary skill at tryouts. It is against the rules, however, to decline to play a co-ed team.
“I know it appears to fly in the face of what everyone is wanting to promote today, and that is equality,” said administrative leader of Mesa Faith Christian Dick Buckingham. “It is based on a religious perspective that God created guys and girls differently. The difference physically, there is a strength advantage that men have over women. We want to teach our men that honor of ladies is just not in sports. We struggle how to teach that if we’re allowing them to play against young ladies in a competitive game.”
Foothills’ team decided that they would not play without Alyssa and Colette Hockin, sisters and the female players in question.
“The [boys] felt the girls earned the right to be on the team,” said Foothills coach Steven Rains. “And they won’t play without them.”
Alyssa and Colette were saddened for their teammates, but grateful that they stuck by them.
“I was like, ‘I don’t want this stuff to hurt the boys,’” said Alyssa. “The whole team supported us. They made us proud to be part of this team.”
Her sister echoed the same sentiments: “We’re happy we were part of the decision. They included us.”
Whether or not religion is a key factor, it is not fair for girls to be deprived of the right to play. In our opinion, wanting to “honor ladies” is not nearly a valid excuse because women are completely capable of competing with and against men. There is no reason why a soccer game should or would dishonor or disrespect females athletes on the field. Such treatment is unjust because Alyssa and Colette, along with the rest of their team, are not being afforded the same, equal opportunities as others.
Girls can do anything boys can do, Mesa’s Faith Christian school. Don’t you forget it!