Scared Boys Refuse to Play Teen Girl in High School Football Game

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footballYou'd think earning a spot as the first and only girl on your high school's football team would be the hard part. But Mina Johnson just can't catch a break. She sat out the Southampton Academy game last week because the boys from Northeast Academy refused to play against a girl

That's right. The boys at Northeast are a bunch of backward-acting jerks who are afraid to face off against a girl. But can we talk for a minute about the actions of the Southampton Academy team? They weren't acting like one when they let Mina sit the bench and trotted out on the gridiron, that's for sure.

As the mother of a little girl, the way Mina was treated by her own teammates makes me cringe. It shows our girls can be just as good as the boys, and the boys can still dismiss them ... and get support from their school for doing it.

The story goes that Northeast threatened to forfeit if they had to play against Mina. So Mina said she'd sit out. The coach said she "deserved" to play and cited her work ethic and her success in past games, including sacking an opposing quarterback four times. But that's it. The Southampton boys played anyway, albeit with pink socks as a nod to Breast Cancer Awareness and her (which sounds like an afterthought if there ever was one). No one said, "You know what, screw this! If they want to forfeit, they can forfeit!"

It's 2011, but girls on the football team are still rare enough that they make news. So it's not unexpected that somebody, somewhere, will complain. Northeast's hissy is more or less par for the course, as is a threat from a Christian school that's also on Southampton's schedule.

But when we send our kids to a school, we hope that school at the very least will have their best interests at heart. Especially a private school like Southampton, where parents like Mina's mom and doctor dad are paying more than $7,000 a year for people to nurture their child.

They failed Mina Johnson, but they also failed all the boys on that team. This could have been a great lesson in sticking together, teamwork, camaraderie, standing up for what you believe in ... the things that build good citizenship, the things that make athletics such a vital part of a school community. A bunch of misogynistic teenagers were just given the chance to tell a girl that she wasn't worth their time. And the girl's entire school said, "OK, yeah, sure, we'll go with that."

As a mom, I'm more upset with Mina Johnson's own teammates for letting her sit out. How about you?

 

Image via Jayel Aheram/Flickr

behavior, tough topics

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nonmember avatar Mel

My daughter is on the high school wrestling team and boys forfiet to her all the time. Her coach tells her a win is a win but as far as her sitting out I dont think so. She works her tail off year round and deserves to be out there just as much as the boys

bills... billsfan1104

I dont think girls are meant to play football. I bet the boys just didnt want to play her, because they are afraid of their own strength and afraid to hit her or that they would hurt her. Dont we teach our boys that you are not to hit a girl??

PonyC... PonyChaser

I kind of agree with Billsfan - I'll bet that's what they were thinking. However, as the mom of a boy, I've told him that there are two different circumstances - on the field and off.


My son is involved in Tae Kwon Do - a physical, fighting sport. More than once, he has been faced with "hitting a girl". They train together, they spar one another, they compete against each other. I've had to make that distinction for him, teach him that there's a difference: Those girls have chosen, with eyes wide open, that they wish to be on that field/mat/ring. They have trained as hard as you have, you will fight/play fair, and not give them a break because they're girls.


OFF the playing field, however, is a different story. Off the field, he will not hit a girl. Off the field, the rules of society apply.


I think that team should have stood by their girl. Let the other team forfeit. They're the ones who have to bear the shame of not even wanting to walk onto the field with a girl. I don't think it rises to the level of misogyny, of course, I think it's just stupidity.

hotrd... hotrdumommy

I believe girls have every right to play football and if the boys are scared of hurting her because she's a girl then t.s. to them. I would have let the team forfeit. Getting hit in a football game is part of the game. I know. I played when I was younger and took everyone of those hits with a smile on my face. What's next billsfan? Girls shouldn't leave the house. Shouldn't join the armed forces?

bills... billsfan1104

WOW hotrdumommy, way to stretch and assume that I think girls should stay in the house. I just happen to think that they shouldnt play football. That about it. never said anything about the armed forces(in fact my sister was in the army, her husband still is).

mommix4 mommix4

My boys wouldn't have played either. They respect girls and would not have ran,hit,smashed into a girl.if that makes us bad parents for teaching them to respect girls, then ill gladly wear that title

ChellS77 ChellS77

I am all for equality and think girls can do anything boys can do ... however, just because they can doesn't mean they should. Imagine being the parent to the boy who is assigned the position opposite the girl on that team. Would you be encouraging your son to charge and tackle a girl? Would you feel GOOD if he did?  Football players get seriously injured all the time - Imagine being that boy in school the next day if he seriously hurt her. He would probably be at the receiving end of taunts and hassling for hurting a girl. I believe that girls should be able to play just about every sport that boys plays (soccer, baseball, golf, etc), and vice versa, but not football or maybe even hockey. Those two sports require a certain amount of testosterone/aggression that girls just DON'T have, even if they have the talent, skill, heart, etc.

nonmember avatar Lexasmom

Sorry but I agree with billsfan1104. We teach boys not to hit girls but now we need to add the caveat "except in sports." Listen, girls can do everything boys can do but that doesn't mean they should do it together. The first time a girl is seriously injured playing on/against an all male team, her parents will be suing the school, the coach, the player who hit her and anybody who attended the game. Females should play on female teams. And, yes, I am a woman.

nonmember avatar Little Frogs

Outside of a regulated sporting event, people shouldn't hit people... period. When we tell boys that they can't hit girls (but are silent about hitting boys), we are telling them that girls are weaker than boys.

If she earned her spot, she can take the hits and her team should have taken the forfeit

nonmember avatar KD

My son plays varsity high school football and has been training his little sister (12, 9, 8) to play for years and my nine year old plays at school all the time. If she wants to play on a team she will. My son is a very respectful young man, has a steady girlfriend and would never hit a girl off the field, but on the field? They are a player, not a girl. My girls have also taken karate and have sparred against boys. I see no issue with it and I think the young men on the team that sat out did a disservice to their team and to themselves. Sports are not a domestic violence situation and we shouldn't turn them into one. BTW, almost all of the sports other commenters have mentioned have the ability to be contact sports where coed play could and probably wil lead to someone getting hit, even baseball, so the argument against football doesn't hold water.

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