There's a video that is blowing up on the Internet. It's a little girl, playing football. Not just backyard touch football, TACKLE football. It's her highlights reel, where in one season she scored a whopping 35 points. A girl. You know what I have to say? ROCK. ON. GIRLFRIEND!
But, with all things on the Internet that are shared over and over again, people are questioning whether or not this little girl (or any girl, for that matter), should be playing a sport like football. Is it safe? She's wearing the same protective gear as the boys out on the field. Does it defy the "gender laws" that boys play football, girls watch? Who cares?
Her parents must be SO proud. She's taking what so many see as a boys-only sport and showing that girls are equally as skilled athletically to get out on the football field and play. She tackles boys who wear twice as much as her! She's on a mission, and I for one am thrilled to see such a strong little girl doing something she loves!
What do you think? Would you let your daughter play tackle football?
"What do you think? Would you let your daughter play tackle football? '
Probably not. And it has nothing to do with her gender; If I had a son, my reaction would be unchanged. The main reason is that football is one of the more dangerous sports out there, and I don't want any son or daughter of mine risking his/her brain and body needlessly. There are other ways that my son or daughter can develop sportsmanship and teamplaying skills, as well as a healthy physique, without risking so much healthwise.
I mean, good for her that she's doing something she loves, but at that age, and playing something as dangerous as tackle football, I'd say she's playing with fire.
At one of the high schools I went to, there was a girl that was on the football team. She was awesome. When wrestling season came around, the boys wanted to have a sport of their own so she joined a team at another school and beat all of them.
If my daughter could handle playing tackle football, she wanted to play, and it wasn't a media circus for her to join the team, I really wouldn't care. As long as my children are interested in pursuing things that are healthy and that they enjoy I will "let" them do what they want.
ETA: I didn't think about the issues that the first poster raised. Tackle football is a pretty dangerous sport. I played soccer in high school and we were aggressive and mean on the field. We found all kinds of ways of "tackling" other players without getting carded. I can't imagine a sport where kids are encouraged to knock the crap out of each other. So technically I probably wouldn't encourage my kids to play tackle football.
I would encourage my daughter to take up another sport. As a football coach's daughter, I love and appreciate the sport - but as it stands realistically right now, it is not designed for a female.
There are some ways that genders are not equal, as much as we want to say they are. The bodies of boys and girls down to their very skeletons are not 100% equal and neither are their muscle structures. For this reason, protective equipment that is designed with a male body in mind is not just a one size fits all thing. Another issue beyond protective equipment is the locker room. How can there be a pre-game, halftime, or post-game meeting in what amounts to a male bathroom, where there is typically semi-to-nude players around? I realize some of these are not issues at the age we are referring to, but the problem is going to come - and her parents must be aware that there is hardly a school system out there that is prepared financially to meet the need of adding a female to the football team. It is simply not realistic, if it is thought through.
I don't let my boys play tackle football, so I probably wouldn't let my daughter. That's because I'm a pansy and feel it is risky. However, I've never been pushed to let them play so I can't say anything more than that right now. It is absolutely no other parents' right to say what sport these parents let their daughter play. They should just mind their own business.
I think I'm kind of with Sarah on this one in referencing age. At her age, and the safety risks of football aside, I would cheer her on as well. However, I would not support a young lady (I'm thinking one who has reached puberty) playing a contact sport with boys. Not because she would be less skilled or capable, but because it's no longer appropriate at that point, due to body parts developing, and the locker room scenario Sarah referenced. And for me personally, I will never encourage my girls to do what "boys can do" as a way of making my girls feel equal to/as good as boys. God made them male and female, and if I am encouraging my daughter to act like a boy or a man to prove her worth, I am doing her and the world a disservice. If she is athletically talented, there are a myriad of sports she can choose from to excel at. She doesn't have to beat boys to showcase her talent, and if I or the world sends her that message, that she isn't as talented because she's not winning against boys, SHAME ON me or the world!
I googled this little girl. She's 9. I am 100% against children of this age group playing full-on tackle football. Their growth plates are not yet fully developed, and if an injury occurs, it can potentially have a much greater impact to their futures.
I realize this is not a gender answer. But I want to add that in here. These kids are too young to be playing this hard. It is not healthy. They can have just as much fun and build just as much skill if it were flag football.
I don't see the need to encourage girls to do the same things as boys. Maybe I am just old-fashioned, but football is for boys. It's a place where boys can goof off, horseplay, be rough, etc. Throw a girl in there and the whole game changes and it's probably just not as fun anymore.
@ShimmerBodyCream@xanga - Gee what a good motto.."Their body not mine." So you'd let them eat whatever they want too? Kids can't make their own decisions at that age, whether it is their body or not. That's just negligent.
I thought they did flag football at that age.... But anyhow...I would encourage both my daughters and my sons (if I ever have children) to do what they love, whether it's traditionally for their gender or not.
Eh, I don't know. For other contact sports, they have separate teams for boys and girls. I think that part of the camaraderie is having a group of all guys or all girls. I would leave it up to the coach.
I absolutely would let my daughter play football with the boys, if I had a girl. When I was her age I played on the boys' basketball team. And those boys were rough. I averaged a bloody nose every other game.
To be honest, I plan to encourage all my children to stay away from football. The injury risk scares me more than with any other sport. Yes, there are risks to playing any sport, but to me, the risks are higher with football. I also do not agree with this little girl playing football at such a young age just like I do not approve of little boys playing the full contact sport until they are older. Her body is still growing....
As long as she can handle the violence and understands the risk. After all, football is not the only sport you can get a concussion. My sister got one playing soccer against other girls. Plenty of ankle and knee injuries from basketball too. There's no sport out there that is truly "Safe." The only real way to prevent injuries is not to play them at all.
I would probably be ok with it at that age, since the strength and weight difference between genders isn't much of an issue. A few years down the line I'd be much more hesitant. I think there is an inherently greater danger for women competing against men in high contact sports. Baseball, basketball, swimming, running etc, not a problem, but I would discourage it when it came to football, wrestling and rugby. I would have the same issue if I had a son who was significantly smaller than most.
I probably will be one of those pansy parents who is afraid of their kids getting concussions. But I've seen it happen so often for kids I knew growing up, I just wouldn't want to see it happen to my children.
I mean, taking risks is fine with me. Stepping out your door is a risk, in a way. I just wouldn't want them to be doing something that is reckless...ie: just plain unwise. What about rock wall-climbing, or hiking, or swimming, or basketball? Even wrestling or karate?
I played tackle football as the only girl on my highschools team for three years. The third year the guys voted me as one of the captains. It was the most fun and most fulfilling thing I have done so far. Each of the 40 guys on the team was like a brother to me, they all looked out for me and did their best to help me be my best. I would do it again in a heartbeat.
@sarahsmurfette@xanga - I used the female changeroom and only joined the guys once they were all dressed, not a big deal.