An Alabama girls’ youth basketball team was faced with losing their practice facility unless they agreed to play in a boys’ league. They went on to win the league anyway, but were ruled ineligible to be considered the official champions, according to Deadspin.
Jayme Mashayekh, the mother of one of the girls on the team, shared her side of the story on Facebook, detailing the discrimination the team faced and the remarkable effort they put forth.
“Playing the boys was a challenge they rose to meet,” she wrote. “It made them better players and a better team. They were told before the championship that they could play in it but if they won they wouldn’t be allowed to have the trophy. “Excuse me? What?” What did they do to get disqualified? Did they not pay their dues? Did they not play up a level in competition? Oh, it’s because they’re GIRLS?!?!”
Although they lost several close games in the middle of the season, playing against the boys made them better players and a stronger team. Prior to the championship game, they were informed that they could play but would not be awarded the trophy if they won.
The fact that they were denied the championship on the grounds of being girls is being viewed as a staggering example of male entitlement and lack of awareness.
Hoover City Administrator Allen Rice issued the following statement to AL.com:
“On Wednesday, March 1st, 2023, the City of Hoover and the Hoover Parks and Recreation Board became aware of concerns about a recent youth basketball tournament. We are currently working to provide proper recognition to all the teams that were successful in that tournament. Also, we are reviewing the full extent of what occurred to ensure all future programs are handled appropriately.”