May 11th, 2012 at 12:38 PM ^

Will probably get negged to death, which is fine, if the roles were reversed and a team in the girls state championship had guys on the team everyone would agree with the forfeit. Call me old fashioned, but our society blurring the line between men and women is troubling to me.

Don't get me wrong, in the workplace everyone should be on an even playing field. But in youth sports girls and boys need to be seperate. It does not hold water to say that "boys are afraid to compete with the girl" when it is a one way proposition. Whats next, does the girls volleyball team recruit the 6'8" center from the boys basketball team to play because there is no boys volleyball team?

This girl should play softball and let a boy play second base for the BOYS team.


May 11th, 2012 at 4:50 PM ^

Ohhhhhhh boy, this argument makes sense.  What if the guy is actually 5'2, 125 lbs and isn't particularly skilled at X girls' sport?  He can't play because men tend to be better athletes than women?  But a girl who is 6'2, 195 and is the spawn of Mia Hamm and Derek Jeter CAN play because women tend to be slightly less skilled athletes? 


May 11th, 2012 at 1:07 PM ^

I thought about posting this yesterday but thought it would get deleted for treading too close to religion, politics, yada yada.

As others have said, I don't see much wrong here. The girl has the right to play, the fundamentalist catholics have the right the forfeit, and the rest of the country has the right to point and laugh at the fundies. It's unfortunate some kids were denied a chance to play a championship game, but it's probably the right/best outcome given the situation.

Blue in Yarmouth

May 11th, 2012 at 12:52 PM ^

As far as I can see this team didn't do anything wrong. Do I agree with their view of women playing male, but I also agree that they have the right to their own values and beliefs. I would imagine many people would find their stance silly, and I would be among them, but if it's what they believe, it's what they believe.

As an aside (and this is a true story), a kid was suspended from school in my area a week ago for wearing a shirt that said "life is wasted without Jesus". Now I'm not going to discuss the merits of the religious message on his shirt, but when a school board suspends a kid for excercising his freedom of speech and freedom of religion I think something has gone horribly wrong. He was also told if he wore the shirt again he would be expelled for the remainder of the year. The argument the board made was others found it offensive. I find lots of stuff offensive but acnowldge people rights to their own beliefs...Anyway, I was far more astonished by that story than the one being discussed on this thread.


May 11th, 2012 at 1:12 PM ^

I can see it a little bit. The saying insinuates that everybody that doesn't believe in Jesus is wasting their time. I can see non-Christians getting offended by that. He could just wear a shirt with a cross on it. As a Christian, I don't like the shirt. There are better ways to evangelize than a T-shirt that is all up in your face.


May 11th, 2012 at 1:23 PM ^

It's obnoxious, but I'd want a kid to be able to wear a Marylin Manson* t-shirt that says something equally obnoxious, so I'd be willing to put up with it...It could be, too, that having lived in Kansas and gone to KU, frequent target of the Westboro Baptist Church, that I am completely inured to messages like the one on the boy's t-shirt. 




*Marylin Manson is a wang.  Don't get me wrong. 

Blue in Yarmouth

May 11th, 2012 at 1:25 PM ^

there probably are better ways, but the bottom line is the student has the right to express his beliefs in anyway he wishes (within reason and insofar as it doesn't infringe on other's rights). Honestly, I don't like OSU or MSU but I wouldn't demand someone take off their shirt just because I didn't agree with their choice in university sports. The people with the problem in this instance (IMHE) are the ones that will allow them to become offended by something they don't even believe in. I mean really, why would you give that much power to something that you don't even believe?


May 11th, 2012 at 12:58 PM ^

Well, to turn this on its head, perhaps the school that forfeited would have a complaint. After all, they made their views known well before this girl was allowed to play. 

They stuck by their rules, and no, the girl's team wins a championship by forfeit, just having her on their team, meaning they deliberately chose to deny the school with the "archaic" views a chance to play for the title.....


Not a reflection of my views, but I can see the argument. Somehow, given the context, I don't really want to call it devil's advocate.


May 11th, 2012 at 1:02 PM ^

Teams could have said the same thing about opponents who refused to sit their black players.  No team has any sort of ethical duty to sit one of its players because another team thinks that the class of people that the player falls into should be banned from playing.* 

*Unless you're talking about something that would grossly and obviously tilt the competition, like allowing a 16-year-old to play on a 12-year-olds' football team. 


May 11th, 2012 at 6:12 PM ^

I linked to that article in this thread too...I didn't say what I meant very well about tilting the competition.  My illustration was of a 16 year old in a league for 12 year olds because that's a situation in which (generally) the 16 year old is going to have an enormous physical advantage by reason of his or her age that 12 year olds can't hope to match.  You could say the same about boys vs. girls, but I think age is different.  A 12 year old boy is going to be closer in size to a 12 year old girl much more often than he is a 16 year old boy (the boy in the article, in fact, is the smallest kid on his team). I think, then, that you can discriminate based on age in a rational way that you can't when it comes to gender. The best way to divide kids up, though, is just by size.  I've seen kids' football leagues in which you were eligible or not based on your weight. 

coastal blue

May 11th, 2012 at 7:06 PM ^

You can discriminate by gender in a very specific way: specific leagues for specific genders. 

Here's the problem: When you open up a football league based on size where gender isn't the problem, where is the cut off? What age? At some point, girls (99.9 % of them) can't compete physically with the guys. 

Since girls are allowed into football leagues, should boys be allowed into field hockey? volleyball? What about women's basketball, soccer and hockey?

What if the boy is allowed to play field hockey and keeps playing...can he go on to play in college for a women's team? Women have kicked field goals for Division 1 football teams. So should he get a scholarship? Could this be a new way for males to obtain full rides? In twenty years will an all-male field hockey team win a the NCAA women's field hockey champion? 

To me, it makes no sense for boys and girls to play co-ed sports unless we're talking about young kids who are more likely to be interested in picking dandelions. 


May 11th, 2012 at 1:16 PM ^

"The statement also said the school teaches boys respect by not placing girls in athletic competition, where "proper boundaries can only be respected with difficulty.""

Yep. If those poor boys on Our Lady of Sorrows were forced to compete on the same field as the girl, then in very short order they'd be raping and beating women, if not fornicating with them in the dugout immediately after the game.


May 11th, 2012 at 1:51 PM ^

The girl has the right to play baseball if she wants to.  That is pretty well supported by laws such as Title IX.


The other school has the right to not play against a team with a girl on it and are supported by laws such as the 1st Ammendment.  This school is run by a religious group that believes boys and girls should be educated separately.  So they chose to not violate thier belief system and teachings by playing and forfeited.


Color me shocked!!!  How can this happen in 'Merica /s


Sadly, since there is no logical way to argue against the schools actions (supported by law and rights) people resort to childish name calling.  In the end those people end up looking more stupid than the thier targets. 


That is all.


May 11th, 2012 at 2:26 PM ^


Sadly, since there is no logical way to argue against the schools actions (supported by law and rights) people resort to childish name calling. In the end those people end up looking more stupid than the thier targets.

Don't the other members of their league have a right to decide this is a gross violation of the spirit of athletic competition that every athletic league is based on, and ostracize that school from competing against them?

If I'm considering hiring a person who went to that school, can I use the knowledge that the applicant went to a school where they won't play ball with a woman to decide not to hire him based on my belief that there is figuratively no job you can succeed at if you can't play ball with women?

Don't I have a right as a citizen of the same country as this school to describe that schol as bigoted by my own terms of justification?

All they have is the right to act on their religious beliefs. They have zero right to control how other free people choose to react to their actions undertaken for whatever reason. If they had a contract to play the baseball game, the contract supercedes their 1st amendment right and they could get sued.

So we can't put them in jail for it, and we shouldn't be able to, because the 1st amendment protects ideas from being destroyed at birth by governments. However no idea can hide behind that protection forever--ultimately it must float on its merits or sink, and it is the realm of public opinion, which has no restrictions, where that trial takes place.  In that realm we both can say what we want, and any value they gain or lose depends wholly on the strength of their argument that women should'nt play baseball against their boys, or the strength my argument that they're misogynists. The only thing the right of free expression gains you is the ability for your beliefs and actions to be judged for their merit rather than on the basis of what's convenient for our government. If the best thing you can say for your argument is you have the right to express it, then your argument very much sucks and you deserve to be pointed and laughed at.

Judgment is something that is very clearly the perogative of your peers. We don't need a court or a law to judge them bigots; we can quite simply call them such and refuse to have anything to do with them.


May 11th, 2012 at 3:12 PM ^

The fact that the school is in a league where other schools don't follow their same beliefs indicates that their beliefs are "dying out".  Perhaps this school will move to find another league that conforms their ideals or just drop sports all together (that would dramatically decrease enrollment I would think). 


Personally I have a bigger problem with them forcing the girl to sit out of the game (which they did twice during the regular season and lost twice anyways) than forfeiting a playoff game. 


My criticism goes towards those who immediately make comments such as "its 2012, those beliefs are archaic and stupid, etc."  To riducule those who disagree with you shows closemindedness and fails to provide an argument as to why those belief sets are wrong.  It is an interesting question, should boys and girls be allowed to compete against each other in sports?  For those who say yes denigrating those who say no does not win the argument.  There are many interesting and strong arguments on both sides and a persuasive argument does not involve name calling.


There are plenty examples from my life where I have seen high school wrestlers forfeit rather than wrestle a girl.  Does this make them backwards thinking, archaic, stupid, or bigots?  Could they be sued for potentially showing a sexist attitude?  Lawyers are running amok if there were a lawsuit involved in a high school sports forfeit.


To answer your second question, wouldn't that be religious discrimination.




May 11th, 2012 at 3:35 PM ^

Even acknowledging you would discriminate against someone in an interview based on personal "beliefs" or "beliefs" held at the school they attended would probably not end well for you. I understand you're trying to make a point, but by doing so you actually become the thing you're arguing against.


May 11th, 2012 at 5:00 PM ^

I was trying to provide a counter-example do demonstrate that the right to form personal judgments on the quality of beliefs can extend even to areas we don't want them to, they're that strong. To go further might dip into politics too much.

I would say that as an employer, whatever biases you can admit or not, you're going to have them, and you'd damn well be able to admit them to yourself. There's a big difference between a) discriminating against a graduate of this school because I disagree with their politics, or b) looking at an individual candidate who has never interacted with a woman on an equal basis, in fact who has been educated not to, and drawing a line between that and his expected performance in a job where he'll, e.g. need to sell things to female marketing managers. The admitting part seems silly to me because the discrimination doesn't occur with the admission, it occurs subconsciously. I don't know the legal side, I'm just discussing the ideal: the ideal would be you ask the candidate about the practice.

In general, a belief is neither innate nor intransigent, therefore having a belief means having the courage to stand by it even when it denies you opportunities. Speaking to my own faith, I have great respect for the guys who miss a lot of Michigan games because it's the Sabbath. I have far less respect for the guys who complain about college football being played during the Sabbath because then they can't watch. You can go find a Daily article by the way where I was exactly that whiny ass (it's unsigned but you can find it) about playing a game on Rosh Hashanah, and I was wrong then. If this school wants to believe boys and girls shouldn't be on a baseball diamond, have some culpability for that belief. There is nothing noble about faith if it's everyone else, not you, who you expect to be most put out by it.


May 11th, 2012 at 4:59 PM ^

If I'm considering hiring a person who went to that school, can I use the knowledge that the applicant went to a school where they won't play ball with a woman to decide not to hire him based on my belief that there is figuratively no job you can succeed at if you can't play ball with women?

Actually, no, you can't.  You do have the right to fire someone for being a bigoted jackass in the workplace, but I very much doubt you have the legal right not to hire someone because he went to a Catholic school that you don't like.  (You could probably get away with it very easily, as with most kinds of hiring discrimination, but that's not the point.)

This is more or less what I meant when I said criticism of religion is what this thread is about.  It's just that it's in the name of anti-bigotry, so it's PC.  But I have to ask, why do people assume it's out of bigotry and not take into account the school's word?  I quote:

Teaching our boys to treat ladies with deference, we choose not to place them in an athletic competition where proper boundaries can only be respected with difficulty ... Our school aims to instill in our boys a profound respect for women and girls.

The assumption throughout the thread has been "these people are jackassed bigots" and nobody has challenged that.  It's just taken as truth.  I think that's a form of bigotry in itself.  It comes across as, "I've got no interest in what you say or what your reasons are, you're still worthless."


May 11th, 2012 at 5:09 PM ^

Because it's an awfully big world so the obvious jackasses don't need their day in court before being called jackasses, elsewise nobody's a jackass and everything is excuseable. Otherwise we're splitting hairs, e.g what's a segregationalist versus a racist, because the latter carries so much stigma. Terrelle Pryor thinks his free car and tats etc. were given to him by God; everybody who does something bad has a justification for it in their mind--the existence of a self-justification doesn't make the position any less bullshit.

I read their explanation. I also saw through it immediately, because there is no deference to ladies or anything close to it taught by telling another school they have to sit their female player else you won't play them. That's not faith, it's jackassery parading as faith. Faith is playing the game, apologizing to your boys that you made the mistake of putting them in this situation, and withdrawing from the league afterwards.

On the hiring: glad I asked. I think "don't like their catholic school" is a very unfair characterization of the position (which was a hypothetical extreme, not what I'd do I want to point out) but I honestly don't know which way that one would fall in a court, therefore I thought it a good example of where the line between a right to believe something and a rational judgment by others of that belief intersect.


May 11th, 2012 at 2:12 PM ^

Note: We keep politix off the board for a reason, but so long as the discussion sticks to sports and doesn't start attacking specific religions this thread is okay.

Me thoughts: The school has a right to decide it wants to forfeit; nobody said it's against the law to judge them for doing so. Academic institutions have the right to do all sorts of things they shouldn't do.

Meanwhile their league has a right to kick them out immediately. And I think they should do so, since the purpose of the league is to play baseball games, not let one member use canceling a baseball game for their own bigotry as a vehicle for advertising the extremist niche they occupy.

If Notre Dame decided to forfeit the Under the Lights game a week out because we have Floridian Jet-Smurfs on the team, the NCAA could tell them to GTFO. A high school baseball game is a much smaller deal, but it's still a gross violation of the spirit of athletic competition to back out from a game because they have an arbitrary problem with the type of person on another team. Taking a loss doesn't make it okay, because wins and losses are not the sole reasons we play sports, and at that level it's not even a tenth of the reason.

They have the "right" to do it. I only hope they now have the courage to take the righteous repercussions of judgment and ostracization without whining about their rights being infringed, because every fan of athletic competition on every level is about to exercise our right to hate them.


May 11th, 2012 at 2:20 PM ^

I'm pretty sure the Floridian Jet-Smurfs had clearinghouse issues.  Michigan couldn't touch them with a 10-foot pole, which was a bummer because they were some of the best players to come out of high school in the last several decades (think Michigan Robot but smaller, more blue-skinned, and with bulbous noses).



May 11th, 2012 at 4:46 PM ^

While - on a philosophical level - I support the general principle that girls should be allowed to compete on boys' teams where there is no alternative, I think it's a little unfair to refer to this policy as "bigoted."  Gender is different can of worms than say, race.  You can make an argument against mixed-gender competition.  There are logistical issues involved with having a mixed-gender team (do they dress in separate locker rooms, for instance?).  There are general differences in size and strength to be accounted for.  And to be honest, in my own experiences having to compete against teams that had girls on them (which happened a few times in soccer and once in basketball), it was a little uncomfortable.  I didn't want to play as aggressively as I normally would.  So, while I don't exactly endorse this school's stance, I don't think it's entirely fair to say that it's just like Jim Crow.


May 12th, 2012 at 1:03 PM ^

just because you're a boy, your discomfort should not override a girl being able to play when she is as good, and has no other opportunity.

If you read my post again, you'll see I'm not disagreeing with this point. I think that allowing girls to compete on teams where no other opportunity exists is a necessarily evil. It's not ideal -  I don't think it's great for either the girls or boys involved - but at times it is the only option.

I just don't think people should analogize this to racial segregation.  There is no credible argument for preventing players of different races from competiting.  There are some arguments against mixed-gender competiton.



May 11th, 2012 at 8:16 PM ^

Back in 8th grade I ran track and at one meet I found myself having to run a 100 yard race against one other runner -- a girl.  I was mortified.  I won, but barely.  I still remember her ... her name was Brigette.  She was cute. :-)

Michigan Arrogance

May 12th, 2012 at 7:54 AM ^

there are a lot of what-ifs going thru my head. What if, instead of a girl they forfieted b/c they didn't want to play against


a black kid

a kid with AIDS

a gay kid


This jackass school may have the right not to be percecuted by their government, but they sure as hell should expect to be persecuted by the public for their ignorance.



May 12th, 2012 at 1:22 PM ^

It seems to me that there are absolutely no grounds for not playing against someone of a different race, religion,/ or sexual preference, particularly in sports.

Personally, I would also extend that to AIDS. I suppose some argument can be made that you should have some limitations for participation against someone with a contagious disease. An enterprising coach could recruit someone with AIDS to be on their wrestling team, publicize it, and force other teams to either wrestle against him/her or forfeit the entire match.

However, with regards to gender, there is a physical difference on a completely different plane than race or sexual preference. Thorny issue.