A Nebraska 11-year-old girl’s soccer team was disqualified from an area tournament because their 8-year-old star allegedly looked too much like a boy.
As reported by NBC affiliate WOWT, Mili Hernandez of the Omaha-based Azzuri Cachorros was deemed to be male by organizers of the Springfield Soccer Club girls soccer tournament simply because she looked male. The big giveaway was apparently her short haircut.
Naturally, the alleged sentiment from the Springfield Soccer Cub is both enormously sexist and flat out wrong, both from a humane and factual perspective.
“Just because I look like a boy doesn’t mean I am a boy. They don’t have a reason to kick the whole club out,” Hernandez told WOWT. “When my hair starts to grow I put it short because I’ve always had short hair. I didn’t like my hair long.”
Some of the most famous names in women’s soccer have stepped forward to support the young Omaha starlet. Abby Wambach both wrote in support of the teen and solicited a contact for Springfield officials so she could complain about the case herself (really, she really did this, and it was awesome). Wambach’s one-time national team colleague and fellow U.S. legend Mia Hamm also invited Hernandez to one of soccer camps.
Something tells us Hernandez would trade all those accolades for the opportunity to play with her club and compete for the Springfield tourney title. It’s just a shame that opportunity passed of no fault of her own.
Eventually, organizers blamed the situation on a clerical error. Still, Wambach referred to Hernandez as “her new hero.”
Dear Mili Hernandez, you are amazing in every way. Thank you for teaching us how to be brave and shining a light on something so hurtful. If you don't know, she is my new hero. Her team was disqualified from a tourney cause they thought she was a boy because of a clerical error that wasn't handled properly. Let's meet soon sister.