Girl Banned From Football Starts Petition to Play at Georgia Private School

Wednesday, 26 Jun 2013 09:54 AM

By Alexandra Ward

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A Georgia school is trying to ban 12-year-old Maddy Paige from playing football, claiming that girls should not be allowed to play on all-male teams.

Paige played defensive end this past year for Strong Rock Christian, but now the private school in Locust Grove says it has changed its policy.

"I was told by the CEO that he did not believe girls should play on boys teams," Paige's mother Cassy Blythe told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "He was worried the boys might have impure thoughts, the locker room talk might be a bit much for her to handle. [He said] boys and girls should not compete in any sport… there are other sports she can play… and that they are a private school and can make any decision they want."

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Paige's family has launched a Facebook campaign called "Let Her Play," which has collected nearly 31,000 "likes." They're hoping they can get enough support to convince the school's officials to allow Paige to play football next year.

"I knew what I was walking into when I joined the team. I knew the guys were going to knock me down. I knew there was a possibility of getting hurt. I also knew I could hold my own and be an asset to the team," Paige wrote on the Facebook page. "When I was told my gender would prevent me from continuing my dream I was crushed. I felt like my heart fell on the floor and the school stomped on it. I worked hard to earn my spot and I deserve to play... My voice will be heard and I will fight for what is right."

Earlier this year, an 11-year-old Pennsylvania girl was banned from playing on one of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia's Catholic Youth Organization football teams. She and her family started a petition on Change.org and even appeared on Ellen DeGeneres' show to promote their cause. The Archdiocese claims they're are still reviewing the case, Forbes reported.

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