Some of you may have seen this item about a girls soccer team being disqualified from the finals of a tournament because Mili Hernandez, an 8-year old girl with short hair, was suspected to be a boy even though she was not.
The Springfield club told WOWT that a misprint in the team’s roster identified Mili as a boy. Her family brought several forms of identification, including her insurance card and a doctor’s physical form, to prove she’s a girl, but the team was still disqualified.
Teach coach Mario Torres told KMTV in Omaha that tournament officials did not handle a clerical mistake properly.
“Even if it was a mistake, they did not need to humiliate her or kick the entire team off the field,” Torres said.
The tournament officials later apologized, saying that “the soccer club’s decision to disqualify Mili’s team does not represent the association’s core values of teamwork and inclusion.”
On one level, what surprises me about this is that the officials felt that they needed to summarily disqualify the team based purely on their suspicions, and before any investigation.
But at a deeper level, this also shows how absurdly seriously we take children’s sports. Even if officials suspected that there was a gender misrepresentation, surely they could have given her the benefit of the doubt and let the finals go ahead while they investigated? It is not the greatest tragedy in the world if an 8-year old boy had played on a team with 11-year old girls. Get a grip, people!
Here is a news item about the story.