Denounce Sexist Disqualification of Young Sports Team

Boys and Girls Playing Basketball

Target: National Travel Basketball Association President John Whitley

Goal: Call out the disqualification of a 10-year-old basketball team for having a girl in their ranks.

A group of 10-year-olds was told that they had been disqualified from a tournament because they have a girl on their team when all the other teams are exclusively made up of boys. The National Travel Basketball Association told them that they were being kicked out after making it to the finals because parents had complained.

This is despite the fact that girls are allowed to play on boys teams in all other games with a waiver and despite the fact that the apparent rule against girls playing in national tournaments was ignored until the association received complaints. The rule was ignored up until the point that this team was on the verge of becoming champions.

The team’s coach was warned that they would be disqualified if he played the girl, Kymora Johnson, but he played her anyway. The boys on the team protested the decision to ban her from playing by wearing pink uniforms. Still, the National Travel Basketball Association disqualified them based on this pointless rule.

It’s clear that Johnson is able to play just as well as the boys and there’s no good reason to leave her out of an important tournament just because she’s a girl. This rule is clearly sexist and discriminatory and needs to go. Punishing children by enforcing old gender roles sets a terrible example for young minds. Everything is wrong with this decision and there’s nothing to be gained by barring girls from playing with boys. Sign our petition to denounce the National Travel Basketball Association and tell them to drop any sexist rules from their books.


Dear Mr. Whitley,

I understand that the Virginia basketball team the Cavaliers was disqualified from a national basketball tournament simply because they have a single girl on their team. She has been playing with them for years without any issues, including in many tournaments, but you decided that she wasn’t allowed to play in a national tournament with them when they were a step away from becoming champions just because some parents complained.

This is absolutely unacceptable. There is no reason that girls shouldn’t be allowed to play with boys at that age. She is clearly at no physical disadvantage. None of the players seem to have a problem with it. The only reason this rule, which had been ignored up until the championship, exists is because of sexism. This is clear gender discrimination and you are setting a terrible example for these impressionable 10-year-olds.

It’s too late to correct your mistake and give the Cavaliers back their rightful chance at a championship. However, you can decide to take a crucial step for gender equality and toss out the rule that says girls can’t play on boy teams in national tournaments. Catch up to the 21st century and let girls play with the boys.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Jim Larrison

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