A brawl broke out between two Colorado youth football coaches on Monday night when one team refused to take the field because the other had a girl in its starting lineup. The coaches of the Eaton, Colorado team of 10- and 11-year-olds had expressed concerns over their boys hitting and tackling a girl due to “moral” and “religious” reasons.
When Greeley showed up for the scrimmage and was told that Eaton wouldn’t play, Greeley assistant coach Nate Hernandez confronted Eaton coach Shawn Mills, and fisticuffs ensued. The police showed up, and Mills ended with with a bump and scratches over one eye. That’s just how they roll in Greeley, where the assistant coaches are tough, and the girls are tougher.
Makayla Crespin, 11, (above) had already played in four games when the controversy arose. From ABC-7 TV in Denver:
“Their coach expressed to our team that they had several parents who wouldn’t allow their sons to participate in the scrimmage if the girl was going to play, because of their belief structure,” said Greg Kimbrough, chief executive officer for the Boys and Girls Club of Weld County, which sponsors the Eaton team. “They’ve taken it and made it sort of a team edict that they won’t hit girls, therefore, they won’t play teams that have girl players. … I may disagree with their strictness on this, but I have to respect that we live in a society that allows them to have that freedom of choice.”
Hernandez was suspended by the league, but Mills declined to file criminal charges.
At least no one pulled a gun. But it just goes to show what can happen when an idiotic force meets an absurdly antiquated object. Mixing gender equity issues, religion and youth football on the same afternoon? A recipe for mayhem.
But Crespin got to the heart of the matter when asked why she thought the boys didn’t want to play against her: “Because they’re afraid of me.”