Don’t like short hair on soccer-playing girls? Too bad

If you’re going to play in a girl’s soccer league in America in 2017, you probably should have long hair, lest you want to get a good look at the wonderful world of adults in organized youth sports.

In Madison, Wis., the girls on one soccer team –The 56ers — have been hearing it from opponents’ parents and officials because they like to wear their hair short. They’re pushing back, however.

One of the girls wanted to look like Abby Wambach, the two-time Olympic gold medalist; one cut hers because she didn’t want to get yogurt in it; one wanted to look like Ellen DeGeneres.

They’re 11 years old now, about the age when kids learn that many adults will stop at nothing to ruin youth sports.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel today says their problem is they don’t look enough like girls.

One opposing parent went up to some of the girls and asked their names.

“My daughter responded with ‘Stella’ and the parent didn’t believe her,” said Tom Blau. “My daughter came back to my wife and just cried.”

Blau said it’s not uncommon for opposing coaches and parents to scold them for having boys on the team. They tell the girls the only reason they win is by cheating.

“People have said they’re afraid their daughter is going to get hurt playing against boys,” Blau said. “(Our girls) are just physical and are playing the sport the way it’s supposed to be played. When we tell a parent on the other team that they’re girls they just say, ‘Yeah right.'”

Once, the team went up to receive medals at a tournament, but didn’t get the congratulations that they thought they deserved. A referee told the girls they didn’t deserve to get medals because they played with boys on the team.

“They say, ‘They’re too good. They move like boys,'” Julie Minikel-Lacocque, Adah’s mom said. “All these players have experienced the same discrimination, and I really would call it that. From teams demanding passports and accusations of cheating. It’s incredibly damaging to the girls.”

In the league, players have to provide a birth certificate indicating gender when they register to play. That should be the end of it where opposing teams are concerned. But it’s not.

“I hope at the very least it makes people pause and think, ‘Hmm, maybe I should reflect on my bias views. Maybe I should think about what I just said or what I just did,'” the mother of one player to the Journal Sentinel. “‘Or even better, ‘Maybe I should pause and not even go over there and say something.'”

The kids have created T-shirts — Sixer Strong — for girls who like to wear their hair short which declare that “power doesn’t come from a haircut, but from a passion for the game as well as the freedom to be who you are.” The front of the shirts says “Try and keep up.”

  • >>“They say, ‘They’re too good.'<<

    My response would be the same one I use when gaming online, "Then get good, skreb."

    /"Git gud, skreb"

  • Veronica

    Oh my word those adults are horrible people and they all deserve to be banned from going to games for at least a year.

  • Bridget L.

    As if your gender decides how well of a player you are. Saying they’re too good of a player to be a girl. WTF. Besides having to cut it more often having short hair is a lot less maintenance and you don’t have time for that when you kicking some soccer butts. Shame on those parents and referees.

  • “one cut hers because she didn’t want to get yogurt in it”

    A practical concern if I’ve ever heard one

    • theoacme

      Hey, Yoplait! Marketunity! Send some yogurt thataway… 😉

  • AL287

    Don’t parents have more important things to tend to besides worrying about short hair cuts on female soccer players?

    I think there are some pretty insecure parents in Madison, WI. They’ve also forgotten that team sports like soccer are about team work and learning to get along and when required, losing gracefully.

    Play ball!

    • theoacme

      History lesson…a woman was burnt at the stake in part because she had short hair…

      …yeah, the fact that she was a) French, b) a kick-ass military leader, and c) made the snowflake British look really bad probably were also factors, but the court that sentenced Jeanne d’Arc to death did so in part because of her failure to submit to the misogynistic submissive role expected of Frenchwomen, as exemplified by her shortened hair…

      …oh, those snowflake parents need to remember, the French finally won that war…

    • >>I think there are some pretty insecure parents in Madison, WI.<<

      These types of parents are everywhere.

  • Guest

    I am guessing the whole push to let gender identity determine where to shower and what team to play on is letting these parent’s assume it is more likely to have a boy on the team than to have a girl with short hair.

    • Maybe they should take a deep breath and calm down

      • Guest

        Betcha 100% of youth coaches have had parents that they truly wish would do that.

    • Guest

      Especially one that “plays like a boy”

      • As I recall, 11 year old girls are better at sports than 11 year old boys

    • Barton

      This isn’t new in girls sports. We had this issue back in the late 70s/early 80s with some of my fellow soccer players and basketball players wearing short hair cuts. One who wore short hair but had developed early was even accused of stuffing a bra b/c surely a 12 year old couldn’t have breasts like that.

      People suck. Losing parents just suck a bit more.

  • KTFoley

    I love, love, love the fact that they sent letters of support to the player in Nebraska who went through the same thing.

  • KariBemidji

    Is part of this the ‘princessification’ of our little girls? Sweet, meek and mild does not make for a rockin’ soccer player. I don’t remember princesses growing up. I had Wonder Woman underroos, a school bag that said ‘Anything boys can do, girls can do better.’, and a pixie cut because it was easier to take care of.

    • Catherine Kuehl

      Isn’t it interesting? These young girls sound a lot more mature than the parents questioning their haircuts.

  • Laurie K.

    How perfectly awful for ALL of these young girls. Not only the ones with short hair, but also the ones that had to hear from adults that they will never play as good as boys. I cannot imagine hearing from my own parent that I will never be quite good enough because of my gender.