A kids basketball team from Charlottesville, Virginia, has been disqualified from the finals of the National Travel Basketball Association (NTBA) tournament simply because they have a talented young girl, Kymora Johnson, on their team.
WTF?! Isn’t this 2015?
Johnson has played on the team for three years.and has competed in hundreds of tournaments for the team. She even competed in two Travel Basketball Association tournaments, according to her mother. But not this year, the NTBA says.
Since the tournament does have both girls and boys teams, Kymora will be allowed to participate as part of a female team, and her male teammates are showing their solidarity with her by wearing pink uniforms as they make their way through the NTBA tournament.
A Twitter hastag has also been created, #EqualityForKymora, and here’s some of what has been posted online:
“Basketball team disqualified for having a girl player….and you still say girls & women are equal to men ??? #EqualityForKymora.”
“So your macho sons can’t handle being dunked on by an 11 year girl? #EqualityForKymora.”
“Sure way to prevent a bunch of boys from ever growing into men; kick a girl out of a tourney for competing against them #EqualityForKymora.”
For their part, the NTBA issued a statement in which they said:
“There are a number of factors that contribute to these rules, ranging from safety to competitive balance. For instance, if the NTBA were to allow girls on the boys’ teams during a national toumament, would it likewise be required to allow boys on the girls’ teams during those same national tournaments?”
Oh give me a break! Maybe we should just let all the children play on the same teams and avoid breaking them down by their gender. The differences between girls and boys at the age of 10 are not that great, so why not let them compete, have fun, and learn the many benefits of friendly competition?
If you agree and want to let the NTBA know how you feel, here’s their email address: