Middle School Girl Kicked Off Football Team: Scriptural or Unfair?














Recently, Maddy Blythe, a 12-year-old girl with hopes of becoming a college football player, was kicked off her Christian school’s football team because the school’s CEO, Patrick Stuart, after prayer felt, “that men and women are created equal but different, and it was the wrong thing to do.”

The football coach at Strong Rock Christian School reluctantly told Maddy that she would no longer be allowed to play on the boy’s football team next season, leaving Maddy and her family devastated.

When contacted by the local NBC station, the school’s athletic director Phil Roberts submitted this statement: “Our official policy is that middle school girls play girl sports and middle school boys play boy sports.”

Maddy’s mother Cassy Blythe, thinks her daughter registered a handful of sacks while playing as a defensive tackle for the Patriots last season and could hold her own on the field just as well, if not better, than the boys.

“Since I started openly talking about this, I have found several other girls in America this has happened to. Girls who could play just as well if not better than their male counterparts being told they cannot compete with boys simply because they are a girl. If a girl can meet the same requirements as the boys they should be allowed to play. We will not place limitations on our daughters. We will teach them to fight harder.  We will teach them to take a stand.”

According to Maddy’s mother, in a letter to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, the CEO used Scripture and spiritual conviction as his reasoning for no longer allowing the middle-school girl to play on the team:

Her school called me in for a meeting to discuss her future. I was told by the CEO that he did not believe girls should play on boys teams. He was worried 1) the boys might have impure thoughts, 2) the locker room talk might be a bit much for her to handle, 3) boys and girls should not compete in any sport, 4) there are other sports she can play, 5) they are a private school and can make any decision they want, and 6) he prayed about it and this was the right thing to do. He also quoted the Bible by saying that men and women are created equal but different and therefore should not be allowed to play the same sports.

So, what are your thoughts on this case?

Do you think Complementarian beliefs and roles apply to sports? Do you think the CEO had a Scriptural foundation for kicking the girl off the football team or should her skills on the field speak for themselves? Leave a comment and let us know what you think!

3 thoughts on “Middle School Girl Kicked Off Football Team: Scriptural or Unfair?

  1. well… I don’t think this is really fair. The topic is slippery and unclear but certainly the points made to support the decision weren’t really good for the most part.
    1) the boys might have impure thoughts – it’s not like football attire is more revealing than usual “school clothes” – and if a boy has a problem when he is near a girl he might have problems in places like school cafeteria too. I don’t see separate cafeterias in school. And there are probably separate locker rooms for boys and girls there anyway.
    2) the locker room talk might be a bit much for her to handle – the “locker room talk” that would be too much for a girl should be discouraged because it is probabbly not really appriopriate anyway.
    3) boys and girls should not compete in any sport. Sports disciplines where M/W compete separately are like that because of physical differences – simply it’s easier for men to run faster, for example, because of their created “parts”. If we want to separate sports then eqestrian games would be boring, because the top equestrians are equally both male and female and it doesn’t make any difference. If a girl is as good as boy in any sport it means she is able to compete. But this argument is really slippery – the guy has his opinion and he has a right to it.
    4) there are other sports she can play, – well, she want’s football and she is obviously good in it, so probably she is physically right for that kind of sport. If someone loves coffe and you tell him there are other beverages he would be mad.
    5) they are a private school and can make any decision they want, – nuts… can’t argue with that but ot’s not a really good argument…
    and 6) he prayed about it and this was the right thing to do – the question is “did he listen to the Holy Spirit and His opinion?” We can’t really agree or disagree.

    If the only argument we have is that we M/W were created different then we can pretty much say even (back to the example) that we should drink different drinks because of that. But would that be biblical? In many countries there are female leagues for footbal and middle school football might be this girl’s ticket to them. Professional male football would probably prove too much – because of the physical differences that distance men and women in many sports.
    I would probably say that she should be allowed to play but someone should start thinking why she chose a sport that is so not-womanly (in my opinion) and find out what’s her motivation and work with her from the bottom of what they percieve a problem. Because I think if you just stop her from doing it there she will go to some worse place with it and would close herself to everything they try to teach her.

  2. This is a rough one. I’m a tomboy in a lot of ways, and I was even more so growing up. I love playing football and things like that too, so I get where Maddy is coming from. Football is just plain fun. Girls may not be as aggressive as guys in some ways, but it’s nice to go out and hit people sometimes, and strategize on how to win, and get that warrior spirit out. (I’m on a powderpuff football team at a Christian University, and we have a GREAT time every season!)
    I don’t know that there is as much of a biblical principle on which to base this as much as there is practicality. Technically…. Maddy IS a girl, and she is shaped like a girl, and junior high boys are wired to think like boys. I think it has nothing to do with Maddy’s competence at all (she’s probably dominating the field), but if I were her mom, I’d be a bit wary in letting her play such a physical (not to mention grabby!) sport with boys. What about when she gets to high school? Then the hormones are really crazy, and it could cause some problems for the boys, and Maddy too. Odds are someone will try to take advantage of the situation, or the guys will end up viewing her as a “bro” instead of a woman.
    I respect her parents’ position though. It’s good to have parents (especially Christian ones) that are willing to think outside the box with their kids and help them strive for their best. That’s a really great quality. I’m looking to joining the military soon, and many issues in the military are along the same lines of Maddy’s circumstance, being a woman in a “man’s world” or “man’s job”. There are some jobs I would not ever take (like working on a submarine with men), not because I think I’m incompetent or unable to perform my job, but because I want to be treated with respect and not put into compromising situations where I could, realistically, even be in some danger. I don’t want to be a woman that is “equal” by being treated like a man. I want to be treated with respect as a woman and for my unique qualities as a woman to be taken into account and allowed to thrive in my work.

  3. I am thankful for the football coach and the CEO’s stand on this issue. From a strictly spiritual point of view – they are absolutely right. From a physical point of view they are absolutely right. The only question is due to how we view our “rights” because we are Americans.

    We, as a nation, are constantly putting our women into situations that could be dangerous because we refuse to recognize what is natural about men and women. We expect men to make changes to allow for women to do whatever they want to do – but in the reverse, women will NOT make those changes for men.

    Reverse the situation – a young man wants to play volleyball and the school doesn’t offer a boys team but they do have a girls team. He wants to play; he can play, as well or better than the girls. So we should now allow HIM into the GIRLS locker room? Should the girls then behave differently in what was their locker room? Or again, should he be expected to just not notice the female bodies walking around undressed in front of him? If you were in a restaurant bathroom, you’d think it inappropriate if a man walked in, just because he thought he had a right to use whatever room he wanted.

    Just because a woman has the ability to do something does not mean that she SHOULD. God designed women for things and men for things. My husband can learn to use a sewing machine, but his hands will not manage it as well as mine. I can use his power tools, but my hands don’t manage them as well as his do (this is WHY they sell WOMEN’S tools, for smaller hands and smaller jobs). It’s not degrading to say what is true – my hand is smaller, so the proper tool should then be smaller.

    We can not have our cake and eat it too AND be EQUAL to men and women – the way people want to define equal. For a woman to be equal – she can wear anything she chooses, even with her body uncovered, and a man better keep his eyes, thoughts and words in control. This does not make her equal – she is attempting to lord over him. True equality comes with RESPECT. We won’t ever get it by demanding to be “just like the boys”. You can’t be a woman AND be just like the boys. It’s a physical, mental, spiritual, and sociological impossibility.

    The men at this school are protecting this young woman, and other young women, by keeping her out of a place that was not created for her. To allow a chicken to go into a den of coyotes and expect the coyotes to not act like coyotes is foolishness. To allow a female to go into a male environment and expect those males to not recognize her differences but to only see her similarities is ludicrous. Why can we not allow there to just be places for the men without our interfering?

    Why have Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts – why not just Scouts? Why is it that Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts do so many things that are similar, but oh so many things that are different? Because boys and girls and DIFFERENT. Own it, Love it, Appreciate it.

    This young woman could take her skill on the football field, and work to create a female football league. No one would begrudge her. It would be hard work. It would take time. But it would be a real accomplishment without taking something away from what is already established. There is nothing wrong in there being a football team that is all male. Obviously she’s already been shown the courtesy of being allowed to play. These men haven’t been hateful, dismissive, or degrading to her at all.

    This young woman could take her love for football and if she is married and has children one day, share that love of football with her husband (who will appreciate her knowledge and love that she can backseat quarterback right along with him), she can teach her children the finer points of the game, show them how to play, and prepare them for all manner of group activities when they begin school themselves. It’s not lost or wasted if she can’t play on the boys’ team – she has no hopes to take it further anyway, colleges, universities, and professional organizations don’t allow for women into football in most instances. It’s not a fight that she HAS to make. She can choose to be enough without proving that she can play ball too. I believe everyone else, not the men in this situation, are feeding into the thought that she will be held back or seen as less if she doesn’t play.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s