This week a Catholic school baseball team forfeited the Arizona Charter Athletic Association championship to Mesa Preparatory Academy because Mesa has a girl on their team. 15-year old Paige Sultzbach plays second base for Mesa.
Yup. They'd rather give up the championship than play a girl.
Paige shouldn't take it too personally. The school, Our Lady of Sorrows, has a policy of never playing co-ed sports. And having Paige on their team made Mesa's a co-ed team. The school issued a statement saying they teach boys respect by not placing girls in athletic competition, where "proper boundaries can only be respected with difficulty."
Really? That's how you teach boys to have respect for girls? That's so disrespectful of Paige! How about teaching respect for girls as strong, athletic people? If your team is good enough to be in the championship chances are that female second base player is there because she's the best second base player in the school -- regardless of gender.
And it's not like these kids are doing Greco-Roman wrestling. It's baseball, one of the least-contact sports out there. You MIGHT have to tag a girl with your glove. She'll be okay, I promise.
When it comes to teaching boys "proper boundaries" around girls, a little difficulty is not such a terrible thing. Life is full of such challenges. How do you show respect for girls on a crowded bus? How do you show respect when you find girls in leadership positions? If respect is really the issue, then Our Lady of Sorrows needs to learn what respect means in the 21st century.
Paige already had to sit out two other games with Our Lady of Sorrows. Kudos to the coaches and her parents for not forcing her to sit out the championship game.
Do you think Our Lady of Sorrows' policy is unrealistic?
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