Victim Benching

Middle schooler Amanda Baxter was kicked off of the football team at Strong Mountain Christian Academy because the boys are beginning to “have impure thoughts” about her. Travis Waldron zooms out:

The misguided assumption that the problem is the person who is “different” rather than those who are incapable of accepting and adjusting to the difference has been used to urge gay players to remain in the closet, lest they become a distraction, and to keep female reporters out of male lockerrooms.

There are more than 1,500 girls playing football at American high schools, according to the National Federation of State High School Associations, and that number has increased more than 17 percent in just four years. It’s not just a boys’ sport anymore. And more than that, playing football with a girl could have been a valuable experience for Baxter’s teammates about how to appropriately interact with women and girls, about how a person’s sex doesn’t make her inherently inferior athletically or in any other way, and about how having “impure thoughts” doesn’t mean you have license to act on them. They won’t get that lesson, though, because the adults in charge of Strong Rock Christian Academy’s athletics program apparently have yet to learn it themselves.