Time to read: 4 minutes
Valley Christian Academy, a religious school in Santa Maria, California, said it would lose an upcoming soccer game rather than play an opposing team that has two girls on the roster. It’s also not the first time they’ve done this sort of thing.
The game in question won’t take place until Oct. 29, but it will be an automatic win for the Coast Union High School Broncos. To that school’s credit, the coaches make no apologies for having two girls on their roster:
“I am upset with the VCA decision, especially because [Emily Reed and Andrea Aguilar] they are being singled out for their gender.” Bronco head coach Andrew Crosby said in an email.
“It’s not fair,” he continued, “and I hope that thanks to the support of their families, the team and the community, that they can trust that we support them.”
Crosby emphasized that the team “would not consider either of them to be left out. They are part of our team and will adapt for each game. It’s hard because you want to explain to them that it’s not their fault. …”
This is how you do it. Hell, I’d love to see every other team playing VCA this season show some solidarity by adding girls to their rosters just to secure a win before kickoff.
But this is not just about ethics. The actions of the Christian school may also be illegal.
Last year they what’s more he refused to play on a team that had a girl on it. The two sides met without a hitch, but after the scrimmage was over and the players removed their helmets, the Christian school realized that one of their opponents was a girl. Coaches and administrators allegedly “watched [the player] while shaking their heads in disbelief.” The VCA later sent that school a letter stating that the player would not be allowed to compete on their campus.
That girl’s family later sued VCA for violating state and federal rights (along with “inflicting emotional distress”). Specifically, they said refusing to play a game because there are girls on the other team violated Title IX, the federal law that prohibits gender discrimination in sports. The California Interscholastic Federation says that all member schools must comply with Title IX, so it’s also a state issue.
That lawsuit has not yet been resolved. But it is still moving forward because a judge ruled that the Christian school is subject to Title IX requirements because it received PPP funding from the government. They cannot accept federal funds but reject federal rules.
Beyond the legal issues, however, note how the school defended its position by citing its faith. It is safe to assume that their beliefs have not changed since they said last year:
“In our manual, one of our clearly defined limits is, ‘There should be no physical contact between boys and girls at Valley Christian Academy..’”
He added that they train their sons to “rigorously admire and value women as precious and worthy of respect.”
“Soccer is a violent game.and we understand the value of this in the training of our young people within the limits of an organized sport”, [lead pastor and school superintendent for VCA Joel] Mikelson wrote. “However, due to the nature of their contact, we will not play a team that has a woman as part of its soccer team.”
More ridiculous things Christian schools have done, like throwing this girl out.
You see, they want to prevent women from being approached because it’s disrespectful…although it is much more disrespectful to deny those girls the chance to show off their skills on the field. The school also wants to make sure the Christian kids don’t get head lice…although the uniform, padding, and helmets would probably prevent students from “touching” each other.
It is very appropriate that a conservative Christian school act as if a contact sport is equivalent to something sexual. It’s an incredibly patronizing move on the part of the Christian school to pretend that those female athletes don’t know what they signed up for when they obviously had enough talent to make it onto their team. To cite an editorial in the Tribune of San Luis ObispoValley Christian Academy wants a girl to trade “her helmet and pads for a scoop and apron.”
While losing the game is far better than complaining about alleged persecution, here is a simple solution: The Christian school should not be allowed to compete against any. If you don’t want to play by the rules, then you shouldn’t play against real teams Students can simply play games against each other.
It shouldn’t be much of an adjustment considering they already live in a Christian bubble.
And I haven’t seen anyone suggest this, but in case someone does, let’s nip it in the bud right now: I really don’t want to see the two girls volunteering to stay on the bench during the football game out of “respect.” ” to the Christian school.
No one should feel bad for Valley Christian Academy. If coaches refuse to allow their team to compete in a sport for petty, misogynistic, or faith-based reasons, they shouldn’t be rewarded for it, and there’s every reason to think they should be. punished for it by being expelled from the conference altogether.
We have seen similar sexist stances taken by a Catholic school in Pennsylvania, a Christian wrestler in Colorado, and an Islamic soccer team in Ontario. Either they made a fuss about competing against women or they lost a competition as if they were religious martyrs.
None of them are martyrs. In this case, the coaches are cowardly Christians who do not understand the nature of competition.