Forbes.com recently wrote about Caroline Pla, who has been playing Christian Youth Organization football the last two years. Now the CYO office in Philadelphia has blocked her or any other girl from playing football because, well, they are girls. Officials cited the CYO handbook.
Up until that point, no one in the Romans Football organization was aware this rule existed. “It never crossed our minds,” said Jim Reichwein, Pla’s former JV football coach, her current basketball coach and father of her best friend. He said he had a handbook and he recalls most of the language used male pronouns but that he never read anything explicitly stating ‘no girls allowed’. “And at no point did anyone say ‘no way’ when she signed up and first showed up,” he added.
Pla has been playing offensive and defensive line positions for the past two seasons. She is taking her issue public in hopes of making the public aware of this discrimination against young girls by the Catholic Church.
She recalls no major injuries. In fact, she has proven to be an all-star in her league. Meanwhile her parents are incredulous at the decision. They have talked to Good Morning America about the issue. And Caroline was a guest on Ellen recently.
“We pleaded, are you really now going to kick off this 11-year old with this kind of support and character who has been playing for over a year and working hard?” said Seal Pla. “We tried to appeal to common sense and asked Budd to consider the kind of message the Archdiocese was sending with this ban.”
– Bill Bradley, contributing editor.