Kids’ Basketball Team Disqualified From Tournament Because Of Girl Player
But it's totally cool if they just sit on the bench.
A few days ago, a local basketball team was disqualified from a tournament because of their female team member. 10-year-old Kymora Johnson has played on a youth basketball team, The Charlottesville Cavaliers, for 5 years. Previously an all-boys team, Kymora’s mother signed her up for the Cavaliers because there were no girls teams in Charlottesville. Kymora had played in the National Travel Basketball Association’s summer tournament previously and her team was doing great this year until they were abruptly disqualified.
This year, new policies dictated that girls were no longer allowed to play in boys’ tournaments. (“I hate progress and equality.” – NTBA, probably.) The Daily Progress covered the story and also spoke to John Whitley, the NTBA president, who reported that he properly communicated the policy change to team coach Joe Mallory. Mallory, however, argued that he was not clearly informed of the changes and the tournament cleared Kymora for the tournament through the entire registration and interview process without issue:
They didn’t say anything about Kymora, so we went on with their interview process. After the interview process two hours later, we had a basketball game on that Wednesday. So if there was a problem with a female or a girl playing on the basketball team, they should have corrected that or fixed that during the interview process, but we played five more games.
The Cavaliers made it through five whole matches (which they won) until tournament organizers noticed Kymora and the team was disqualified. Kymora even offered to “disqualify herself” if it meant that her team could still compete, though her appeal not successful. While the Cavaliers were understanding and assured Kymora that she wasn’t at fault, she was understandably upset:
I felt frustrated, disappointed and shocked because we got disqualified and I know it wasn’t me because all my teammates were saying that it wasn’t my fault. I wanted my team to be able to win the championship.
The Cavaliers all wore pink jerseys and sat on their intended game in support of Kymora. Kymora’s mother, commented that “The kids were behaving better than the adults in this case.” But wait, there’s a qualifier! Whitley defended the new policies, he’s cool with girls being on teams, as long as they don’t ever play. He’s totally alright with it:
We have no problem with the girls sitting on the bench. We don’t care who sits on the bench with the teams, that goes for anybody … to sit on the bench.
Nice message there, Whitley, way to support young girls in sports. Does this guy hear himself?
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