Paige Sultzbach was set to play for her Arizona state high school baseball championship Thursday night with Mesa Preparatory Academy, but her opponents decided to forfeit the game just because Paige is a girl.
Our Lady of Sorrows, an all boys Catholic school in Phoenix, declined to play in the state championship game because of the 15-year-old’s presence at second base for Mesa Prep. The freshman sat out two regular-season meetings between the schools, both Mesa victories, out of respect for Our Lady of Sorrows’ beliefs. However, missing the championship game was not an option.
Paige’s mother, Pamela Sultzbach told The Arizona Republic:
“This is not a contact sport, it shouldn’t be an issue,” Pamela Sultzbach said. “It wasn’t that they were afraid they were going to hurt or injure her, it’s that (they believe) a girl’s place is not on a field.”
In a statement released by an Our Lady of Sorrows official said that the school had no other option but to forfeit the game because of its strict policy forbidding participation in co-ed athletics.
“Teaching our boys to treat ladies with deference, we choose not to place them in an athletic competition where proper boundaries can only be respected with difficulty. Our school aims to instill in our boys a profound respect for women and girls.”
Paige told the Arizona Republic that she felt put down by being asked to sit out those first two meetings.
“I felt like any passionate athletic person would feel (in that situation). I don’t want our very first high school baseball team to win the championship on a forfeit.”
What really bothers me about this story is that once again religion is being used for every backwards notion and bigoted act in America. The point is that Our Lady of Sorrows holds a belief so outside modern norms and then they call it respect towards women. I call that bullshit. Its old fashioned chauvinism not chivalry. It demeans and undercuts women by refusing to acknowledge they don’t need such deference, and more importantly – women don’t want it. Its all about the Catholic school and its beliefs, not about the women. It’s the religious version of “It’s not me, it’s you” when I think we all know that it’s definitely me.
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