It’s 2015, Women’s Right’s isn’t brand new……is it? Seriously, I can’t believe I’m even writing about this, but this bothered me, so here I go. My son and daughter have played sports now for years, mainly Hockey and baseball, both of which were coached by their dad. I cannot take any credit for their athleticism. I can however take credit for teaching them to be respectful, non-judgemental, non-discriminatory and inclusive, which I am very happy to say they are living up to.
So 2 weeks ago my daughter and I were the first to arrive at her first baseball game of the season. We had no idea who her coach was other than his name, or who any of her teammates were. We waited for them to start arriving, which they did one by one. I get that it can be hard for kids and some adults to feel comfortable in new situations or when meeting new people. I totally understand that fear, or apprehension. However; I was not prepared for what happened next. So after 5 boys had arrived…… one of them who we later learned was the coaches son……began to approach the other 4 boys one by one and offering a handshake and asking their name. Well I thought to myself, “that’s mature and responsible of him, this is a great start.” Then he looked up and noticed my daughter standing beside her baseball bag. She was wearing baseball pants and cleats, and holding a glove, so there was no doubt she was there to play ball. Also she was standing by their teams’ dugout……so no mistake, she was on their team.
This boy started walking toward my daughter, tentatively I may add, but then spotted another boy who was arriving. He quickly turned and went to offer a handshake and hello to this other boy, who seemed relieved to have been acknowledged so quickly.
So after watching this I told my daughter to go up to the boys and introduce herself, she didn’t look too thrilled since they hadn’t approached her, but she started walking toward to them, when to my surprise they all looked away and ignored her approach. So that was it….mama bear to the rescue. “Hey boys, this is another player on your team, so the polite and right thing to do right now, would be to introduce yourself to her, welcome her to the team like you have already done with each other! Please don’t judge and assume that because she is a girl that she will not be good,” Right at this point a man, who I learned was the team coach, walked up as I was talking to the boys, and I guess he had heard what I had just said. He asked me if something had happened and I explained what had just transpired, that I felt that the boys were not accepting of my daughter because she was a girl. His reply was awesome! He walked right up to my daughter. “Hi, I’m the coach, I was away on vacation when the teams were being picked, but I remember you from the evaluations, actually I think I still have the bruise on my hand from you pitching to me. You were my first pick for the team, I’m so happy to know you are on my team and will you be the starting pitcher?” Wow, I was not expecting that! The look on the boy’s faces was priceless, all jaws dropped open wide. You could have heard a pin drop, until my daughter replied with sure!”