Watch number 10 — an 11-year-old tackling machine who loves football.
Now, however, #10 can’t play anymore because she is too good. Meet Caroline Pla — a sixth grader from suburban Philadelphia and an all-star football player.
In a game when she was beating another team – an opposing coach said wait a second she’s a girl she’s not allowed to play.
Caroline plays in a CYO league, which stands for Catholic Youth Organization – she had been playing in the league for the last two seasons — but league officials took out the rule book and sure enough – there are no girls allowed so Caroline has been banned from playing.
The CYO is run by the Catholic Church, who also won’t allow women to be priests, yeah that’s worked out well so far.
The Philadelphia Catholic Archdiocese released a statement saying “CYO football is a full contact sport designated for boys.” Yeah well the military used to be designated for boys too.
Things change and now Caroline, if she chooses, could grow up and fight for her country overseas – but she’s not allowed to play football?
The Archdiocese did say that the policy is currently being reviewed – which shows they have finally learned a thing or two about public relations.
There are 39-thousand people who want to policy changed and have signed an online petition, including this little girl – 9-year-old Samantha Gordon from Utah who has become a YouTube sensation after scoring 35 touchdowns in her first season of Pee Wee football. That earned her a spot on a Wheaties Box.
No one would ever tell Samantha she’s not allowed to play and no one should tell Caroline. As Caroline’s father said, football the game figures it out.
Sports decide who can play and who can’t, and the only factor is talent. That should be the only criteria – the word allowed shouldn’t even be part of the conversation.
The Catholic Church has a chance here to do the right thing – let Caroline play.