Girls Should Be in the Football Game, Not Just Pretty Faces on the Sidelines

Mom Moment 12

Girl, footballOnce you sign one petition, you’re sucked into an almost daily email parade of causes, issues, and other undoings of justice that someone out there is fervently trying to resolve. On Saturday, I got one from Caroline Pla, an 11-year-old girl who has been playing football since she was in kindergarten. 

With more on-the-field experience and probably more knowledge of the game than some grown men who scream from their armchairs, she’s outraged that the Philadelphia Archdiocese is barring her from the Catholic Youth league because she’s a girl. She’s well within her right to be irked, no? Because shouldn’t a gal with enough heart and physical stamina to take hits and run plays be allowed to do it?

“The idea that girls can't play football is stupid,” she writes in the intro to the petition. “I've been playing for seven years, and I've never been injured. The guys don't go easy on me, either—I've worked hard to show them that I'm just as good as they are, and I deserve to be treated the same as them.”

Amen young Caroline! And shout-out to her mama, Marycecelia, who supports her daughter’s love of the game and her right to play it, and fashioned a movement to pressure the archdiocese powers to reconsider their stance. So far, more than 74,400 supporters have signed the petition and the cause has garnered some high-profile attention—Ellen apparently covered it on her show—but will it be enough to sway the traditionalism of the Catholic church? That’s a mighty mountain to stare down. 

Coincidentally, my own daughter came to me a few weeks ago and told me she wants to play ball. This isn’t the first time she’s expressed interest, but I knew I’d have a hard time getting her into one of community teams here in the D.C. area. Luckily, there’s an intramural team at her school, but female participation is still pretty scant. I’m proud of her for even wanting to do it. 

If all else fails, Caroline will be allowed to rejoin the team next year, but it doesn’t seem fair to bench her and make the child wait for no reason aside from gender-fueled logistics. Put her on the field and let her shine. Girls can do more than cheer the games with pom poms and miniskirts from the sidelines. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that.)

Would you let your daughter play football in an all-boy league?

Image via Marycecelia Pla

activities, girls, inspiring kids, kid activities, sports, tweens


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dirti... dirtiekittie

i would let my daughter play, but i would also worry about her getting hurt. of course, this is true if i had a son who wanted to play as well. football as a sport is a wonderful thing... but you see that they are getting more violent, more pushy and more aggressive on the fields at younger ages. before letting my child, be it boy or girl, on a team, i would definitely observe the team and coach in action before saying yes. 

Flori... Floridamom96

Why would you advocate for your daughter to join an aggressive and dangerous sport? Further, boys should not be put in a position where they are expected to be aggressive and physical with a girl. If my sons' league allowed girls I would immediately pull him from the team. I will not have my boys taught that it's okay to hit or tackle girls.

handy... handy0318

I agree Floridamom... I think it's not a good idea at all to instill in boy's heads that it's OK to be that rough with a girl, not to mention all the trash talk that players hurl at each other during the game.  I'm OK with mixing the sexes in games that aren't physically aggressive, soccer, baseball, track, but not football or wrestling. I support the archdiocese on this one.


nonmember avatar Gretta

I will not let my BOYS play football but if this girl must then maybe they should start a girl's league.

BiBi Frederick Waltslady

I sure would I played football when I was younger as well... Its a lot of fun- I think the whole girls cant play because men are rough bullshit is is quite depressing-

nonmember avatar Nikki

Girls are not made to do EVERYTHING boys do. We are different and no my girls will never play football.

If the girl really wants to play then I agree with the other moms and they should start a girls team.

lulou lulou

No, and either should that scrawny Russell Wilson be allowed.  He doesnt have the stature of an typical male NFL quarterback, and will likely just get hurt.  Make him play something less aggressive like soccer,  where no one ever gets concussions.

nonmember avatar Katherine

Someone who thinks soccer is not an aggressive sport has obviously never truly watch the game being played. Wow. My two teenage daughters play and as they grow older, the play becomes more intense. Sometimes I wish they did wear helmets. ;)

nonmember avatar singer825

Lol what? Soccer is a very aggressive sport. I remember there was a special on tv last year that featured several high school female soccer players. A number of them couldn't play anymore due to complications from head related injuries and/or suffered from severe migraines that stunted their ability to learn and function. All because they'd been bopped or kicked in the head too many times playing soccer. Don't let the fact that they don't outright tackle each other fool you. It's just not discussed as much as football injuries.

mama0... mama02040608

My daughter wrestles and is the only girl in her team, one of a handful in the league. Anyone should be able to participate in the sport they want to. It doesn't matter what's between someone's legs; all that matters is their drive to succeed.

As to getting hurt: do you have any idea how many injuries competitive cheerleaders incur? Including head injuries? All sports carry a risk.

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