In Allen, Texas, seven year-old Anna Kimball was told that she would no longer be able to enjoy one of her favourite pastimes, playing baseball on the same team with her six year-old brother, Carson. This news came after the coach for the team had a phone conversation with Anna’s mother, Tami Kimball, informing her that Anna would no longer be able to play for the team because she was a girl. “I can’t believe that she’s¬†7 and already having to face this,” Tami Kimball told KDFW. “She’s already having to hear someone say, ‘Because of who you are, because you were born a girl, you’re not allowed to go do something.'”
However the coach goes on to explain that it simply does not comply with the new league rules as he is now trying to progress the baseball team to a more competitive level. Along with Anna, another girl and a handful of boys are not making the cut onto the new team. This comes as a surprise and disappointment to both Anna and brother Carson who have greatly enjoyed playing on the same team, and Carson now faces a difficult decision whether to stay on the team. As of 1974, girls have been allowed to play Little League baseball due to the efforts of the¬†National Organization for Women (NOW), and after two years of legal proceedings Little League was opened up to girls, as well as creating Little League softball targeted at girls. However in Anna’s case the same rules do not apply as the baseball team she was cut from is not a Little League organization.
So what does this mean for Anna? ¬†Is she facing gender discrimination at seven years old? Or is this an unfortunate byproduct of the natural progression for this team? The coach readily admitted to Tami Kimball that Anna was a better player than brother Carson, so why should the “more competitive” team only consist of boys then? With opportunities to play on other teams available to girls, should Anna compromise what she wants or fight to stay on the team that she had enjoyed for years? Although saddened by recent events, Anna and the Kimball family have yet to express how far they are willing to pursue this issue.¬†
Girl Museum Inc.