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8-Year-Old Girl Disqualified From Soccer Game for Looking ‘Like a Boy’

Mili Hernandez loves short hair. The 8-year-old girl also loves soccer. Mili’s two loves, it seems, should be able to coexist, right?

“When my hair starts to grow I put it short because I’ve always had short hair. I didn’t like my hair long,” Mili explained. Fair enough, kid. We feel you.
But that simple explanation for her short hair was apparently not enough for the organizers of the Springfield Soccer Club girls’ tournament, who disqualified Mili — and her entire team — from the event. All because organizers insisted she was a boy. How can this shocking —and false —discrimination happen in 2017?
Never mind that Mili’s father, Gerardo Hernandez, quickly showed his daughter’s insurance card to the tournament organizers. They refused to acknowledge the clear sex stated on her card: female. Mili and her teammates were out. Period.
Gerardo Hernandez told local news that Mili “was in shock… She was crying after they told us… They made her cry.”

Soccer is everything to Mili. She plays on the 11-year-old roster (because at age 8, she’s that good) for Omaha’s Azzuri Cachorros girls’ club team. In fact, this weekend Mili was instrumental in leading her team to the finals of this very tournament.

But Springfield Soccer Club insisted — despite hard evidence — that Mili was a boy, and that was that.

Mili’s brother, Cruz Hernandez, told local news, “They didn’t want to listen. They said the president made his decision and there wasn’t any changing that.”

Mili was devastated, but wasn’t letting it keep her down, saying, “There’s other tournaments that I can play.”

More: Girls in football? Meet the She Belongs campaign

Springfield Soccer Club organizers declined requests for interviews and directed news outlets to contact their attorneys. They told Mili and her family if they’d like to challenge the disqualification (uh, yeah, they might — hell, we’re ready to!) that they can take it to the Nebraska State Soccer Association.

We hope this story goes big and the Springfield Soccer Club is chastised for their lousy behavior. In the meantime? Mili’s gained some seriously impressive allies. She has been invited by soccer superstar Mia Hamm to attend Hamm’s prestigious soccer academy (gooooooal!!!) and fellow soccer star Abby Wambach posted an Instagram message to Mili expressing her support and saying, “Let’s meet soon sister.”

How d’ya like them apples, Springfield Soccer Club? We think Springfield is the real loser in this unfortunate power play — and they may be on their way to a red card.

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