Soccer Stars Are Outraged After A Girl Was Disqualified From Her Game

Eight-year-old Mili Hernandez is so good at soccer that she plays on the 11-year-old team and helped lead her team to the finals of the Springfield Soccer Club's girls' tournament in Nebraska on Sunday.
Yet, the whole team was disqualified before they were able to play their first game, WOWT 6 News reports. Organizers claimed that Hernandez, who has a short haircut, was a boy and therefore her team could not play in the tournament.
Even after her parents showed the organizers Hernandez's insurance card to prove that she is a girl, the team was still not allowed to play.
Advertisement
This turn of events was of course upsetting for Hernandez. Her father told WOWT 6 News that she cried when she learned why the team was kicked out.
"Just because I look like a boy doesn't mean I am a boy," Hernandez told WOWT 6 News. "They don't have a reason to kick the whole club out."
After the news of her disqualification broke, Hernandez received plenty of support from people who also felt that the tournament's decision was unfair — including soccer legends Mia Hamm and Abby Wambach.
"Mili, don't EVER let anyone tell you that you aren't perfect just as you are.i won championships with short hair," Wambach wrote on Twitter.
She also posted a personal video message to Hernandez on Instagram, praising the little girl for her bravery in speaking out about the incident.
Hamm also thought Hernandez showed incredible strength in telling her story, and has offered for her to come train at her soccer academy.
The Nebraska State Soccer Association, which had no hand in organizing the tournament, has since claimed that Hernandez's team was disqualified not because she has short hair, but because a typo on the team's roster marked her as a boy.
Whether or not that's true, the family still feels slighted by the tournament organizers, who refused to believe that Hernandez actually is a girl even after they showed identification. When it comes down to it, it's clear that Hernandez was judged based on her appearance.
If she didn't "look like a boy," the organizers likely would have ignored that typo. In our eyes, it's just more evidence that we should stop dividing kids up by gender — whether it's clothes, toys, or a soccer team.
Advertisement
Read these stories next: