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11-Year-Old Girl Kicked Off Football Team After Playing Since Age 5

caroline pla, girls playing football, cyo football, philadelphia archdiocese, girls sports

Caroline Pla, R, and her teammates.

11-year-old Caroline Pla has been playing football – with boys – since she was 5 years old. Pla was on a Catholic Youth team this year, but was told that girls are no longer allowed to play in her league because “football is for boys.” Wah-wah. Snore. Pla says, “The idea that girls can’t play football is stupid. I’ve been playing for seven years, and I’ve never been injured. The guys don’t go easy on me, either — I’ve worked hard to show them that I’m just as good as they are, and I deserve to be treated the same as them.”

Caroline’s mother Marycecelia started a petition on Change.org and says, “My husband George and I, who have been active in the church and CYO for decades, were told in the middle of the season that Caroline could no longer play …. The news came despite the fact that Caroline is considered an all-star junior varsity player by her teammates.” The Pla’s are petitioning the Archdiocese of Philadelphia to let Caroline play, citing the fact that “CYO is one of the lone remaining organizations that discriminates against girls in football even though the ability of a girl to be able to participate and compete safely has been proven.” Marycecilia notes that “Even the NFL and Pop-Warner leagues have no male-only rule and thousands of women play full-tackle high-school football each year in America.”

Almost 100,000 people have signed the Pla’s petition, and Ellen Degeneres is a celebrity backer. If you think girls should be able to play football, head on over to Change.org and show Caroline your support. Go get ‘em, tiger!

Photo via Change.org

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