On Tuesday morning, I heard a radio personality lose her mind over a story of a little girl being barred from participating in a girls' soccer tournament because of her short hair. The young girl was allegedly thought to be a boy due to her short hair cut and was not even permitted to play after her parents showed officials the girl's health insurance card, which verified her female gender.
Likewise, on social media, leftists offered the young girl support over the alleged short hair incident; local news stations and even The New York Times ran with screaming headlines about the young girl being barred due to her boy-like hair style.
Outrageous, right? How in the world could something like this happen in 2017?
Well, it didn't. These headlines and reports are misleading, at best.
Eight-year-old Mili Hernandez — who is apparently so good at soccer she plays on the Under 11 girls' team — and her teammates were informed on Saturday that they had been disqualified and would not advance to the finals because Mili was listed as male on the team roster.
According to The New York Times' own report, Mili was incorrectly "listed as a male on the team roster for the regular season and the tournament. Officials said it was a typo but still a rule violation."
In a statement (emphases added), the Nebraska State Soccer Association said it "would never disqualify a player from participating on a girl’s teams based on appearance. However, it is important to note that the roster submitted to the state by the club identified this player as male, and the competition rules for US Youth Soccer do not allow boys to play on a girls’ team."
That's right: Mili's club was responsible for submitting a roster with an incorrect gender.
Now, it does seems as though tournament officials only looked up Mili's gender after "someone," who remains unidentified, complained that Mili was a boy, most likely because the talented little girl was beating the heck out of their daughter's team. But, again, Mili and her team were only disqualified because of the error on the roster; not her short hair.
This poor girl should have never been made to feel different or othered over her short hair by this supposed complainer, nor is it fair to the young soccer players to have been disqualified; this is not up for argument. But let's be honest about what actually happened here: Mili was barred from playing over an error by her club, not short hair.