“Wow, you throw pretty good for a girl,” he said after she tossed him back his baseball when it landed in foul territory.
It was almost too familiar of a comment made innocently by a 12-year-old boy to our daughter when she threw back the baseball they had been playing with when it was hit foul.
It was reminiscent of something that happened years ago while my older daughter was practicing pitching on an empty field when a group of boys from a local High School baseball team came to get a little practice in.
They watched her hurl balls to her dad on a bucket, and I wasn’t sure of their interest was in her blond hair and long legs, or her pitching. She was at the peak of her pitching career, with a changeup that would leave you laughing at yourself, a rise ball that was impossible to lay off and a fast ball that would keep you honest.
So they stood at the fence, and one finally asked if he could try and hit. So husband put on a helmet and some gear, and one by one, they stepped into the box. And one by one they stuck out. Little sister decided to videotape, and they couldn’t believe A GIRL could throw like that.
It wasn’t long before the video made it’s way back to their High School, and their coach being a good sport showed it to the entire team. “Struck out by a GIRL!” And they ran a few laps at the next practice.
That was 8 years ago, and yet the thinking hasn’t changed. If a girl is a good athlete, there is always that “for a girl comment thrown in. Or the shock factor that a girl can do that.
We believe wholeheartedly that GIRLS ARE ATHLETES TOO. And their success or badassery has nothing to do with their gender.
We believe that there is NO REASON to expect less from a female athlete than a male. Sure, there are some differences – but the passion, hardwork, time put in to practice, intensity, level of competition and commitment, ability and talent should not be diminished simply because SHE IS A GIRL!
It also shouldn’t be celebrated more loudly because she is a girl. Because GIRLS ARE ATHLETES, too!
And some of the best athletes we have ever had the pleasure to play happen to be girls.
And that our friends, is the powerful but subtle, but MEANINGFUL message behind this months shirt of the month.