High schools criticized for prohibiting girl’s football

Girl with foot on ball
Girl with foot on ball (Photo credit: RF._.studio)

Some high schools are being criticized for disallowing girl’s football because of the view that it makes the girls become lesbians. Past students of these high schools describe the refusal of the administrative bodies to allow them to form football teams because it encourages masculinity in women.

Luna Kristic, past student of St. Andrew High School for Girls, said she was prevented from organizing a girls’ football team under the guise of a lack of time and field space to accommodate the sport. “But we worked it out and came up with a suitable schedule that would not clash with any other sports happening in the afternoon. But the real reason why it was banned, the high school principal at the time didn’t want football at the school because she thought the sport would bring or encourage lesbianism”, said Kristic. Kristic mentioned that the girls who were pushing for the sport were members of the field hockey team, and they were often thought to be lesbians.

Kadeesh Fishley, St.Jago High School girl’s football coach, said these claims have merit. “The first school that comes to mind is Queen’s. When the competition started, they were a good team but because of the lesbianism, they haven’t had one in years” said Fishley. When asked why there is an assumption that some team members are lesbians, Fishley notes that it is obvious in some cases. “We employ a don’t ask, don’t tell policy because I understand where the schools are coming from. You have to be mindful of the school you’re representing”, said Fishley.

Monique, past student of St. Catherine High, said the girls were not allowed to play football. She said the girls’ petition to create football and hockey teams was turned down because the principal ‘did not want any lesbians in his school’. “That is when I realized this was a homophobic man.  He didn’t want us to play a traditionally male sport to prevent us from being lesbians”, said Monique.

Carla Moore, gender specialist, said football could not create lesbians. “Sports do not change a person’s sexuality; there is no research that supports that and there likely never will be, because it is not a fact,” said Moore. However, she noted that when people refer to ‘lesbians on the football team’ what they really meant was ‘masculine presenting lesbians’ on the football team. “Feminine presenting lesbians could be on the football team, on the cheerleading team, in the tourism club, anywhere really but we may not notice them because they do not fit the stereotype”, said Moore.

Additionally, Fishley said there aren’t more queer women on football teams when compared to other sporting teams. She notes the assumption only exists because the sport is “typically a male sport”.

Moore noted, “I think the decision to cut football in some secondary schools will be a real blow to all sports in Jamaica and to the overall development of our youth. We will never produce the next Shelly Ann Fraser or the next Veronica Campbell Brown if we continue to make decisions that tell our girls that sports are not for them or that something is wrong with a girl who chooses to play sports”.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *