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Should Girls Be Playing Youth Football? NO
Should girls play youth football?
This may be a bit of a controversial topic for some, but in the society we live in, the answer should be a resounding no!
Do some girls have the size and aggression to play youth football? Absolutely, I see sisters of my players who would make great football players, but I’m not sure if that would be best for the girl or the boys in our junior football team.
Today’s society seems to want to devalue women, rap music with its demeaning portrayal of women as disposable and worthy of abuse, television and movies that portray women as sex objects worthy of abuse and the same thing with the written press and the integration of pornography.
In downtown Omaha, nearly 70% of our players don’t have a man at home. If you think I’m exaggerating, we had games with 2 people in the stands and both were women, not enough for a string crew. It wasn’t a one off deal, we had many games where we didn’t have 3 men to run the chains. Many of our players don’t have a role model in the house to “copy” how to properly treat a woman. Children often see physically and mentally abused women and of course they hear it in the music they listen to, on TV and in the print media. I have been coaching youth football for 15 years and the ‘fatherless’ house problem is getting worse every year. Tom Osborne in his book “Faith in the Game” claims that this problem is on the rise and is responsible for the majority of crimes and problems with young men.
If we let girls play football with boys, we are teaching boys that harsh physical contact with women is acceptable behavior. In fact, as coaches, we should encourage and reward this physical contact. Our players would become accustomed and accustomed to being physical with women, the act would desensitize everyone involved in the activity of physical force applied to women by men. The female learns meanwhile that hard physical contact with males is acceptable, it is now a habit. While having women on your team may help the short-term progression of some of our football teams, I’m not sure we’re helping the boy or the girl in their long-term development as a productive members of our society.
Girls are as good and even better than boys in many activities, it is not about girls having the ability to play. It is a matter of breaking the cycle of violence in which many single-parent or even two-parent families find themselves today. In my mind, coaching youngsters in football is much more than teaching children how to execute good football plays and how to block and tackle. It’s about teaching valuable life lessons that the young footballer can take with them to use throughout their lives. My father taught me to treat women with reverence and respect and I was rewarded for this behavior with a wonderful wife and a very satisfying family life. Dad didn’t just tell me, he showed me, even when he and mom had disagreements, they were never loud or physical. He modeled good behavior every day, many of our children NEVER see that good behavior being modeled for them. As boys we were threatened that hitting a girl or even pushing one was a “deadly sin” that could never happen. If that happened, I would be treated by my father in the harshest way, besides it was also considered cowardly.
In 2001, an 8-year-old football player on one of our Omaha teams punched a girl in the face with his fist because of some type of disagreement in the playground area of our field. Of course we spoke to the boy and let him know he should never hit a woman and kicked him out of our program with the promise that he could come back next year if we saw a significant improvement in his attitude and his actions. We felt he needed the program and contact with strong male role models. The player had to attend every practice and game and watch, not play. We persuaded the parents of the stricken girl not to press charges. Believe it or not, the striking players’ ‘grandfather’ pleaded for the kids and said the girl ‘pushed him first’. It made me sick, the poor kid doesn’t have a dad at home and a “grandpa” who thinks it’s OK to punch girls in the face who push you first. No wonder her daughter doesn’t have a man at home. I wanted to punch Grandpa in the face, but I thought that wouldn’t be the right message for the boy either. We really worked this kid out, but I feel like there’s a very high likelihood that this player will be a female user/abuser when he gets older and has a very unfulfilling family life. Although the grandson returned, the grandfather was not invited to train us again.
I will never allow women to play in my youth football program. I don’t want our football players’ life lessons and memories to include the time our stud linebacker knocked down the charge off a girl who had snot bubbles and tears rolling down her face.
However, some people will bite the hand that feeds it. In our rural program, we have had no female football registrations. In Omaha, a few mothers have tried to enroll their daughters in football. Once the initial disappointment subsided and the mum learned why we think it makes long-term sense for women not to play, the mums were very supportive. I can think of only one instance where mom didn’t “get it” and pulled her son out of the program because we wouldn’t allow her daughter to be beaten up by boys on our team. I still see her today, a single mother with 3 children who needed the program and refused to listen to reason. This mom had two missing front teeth, probably caused by the same cycle we were trying to help break.
Today we have tackling football and even boy vs girl wrestling, what’s next boxing? or how about ultimate fights? Where do we draw the line? If girls are as good as boys at football, why not boxing? Why not fight? Why not Ultimate Fighting?
There are some who don’t care about the long-term implications for both parties, they just have a selfish desire to see their children excel, whatever the cost. I cringe at what’s in store for this poor girl.
Let’s draw the line at football tackle.
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