Due to their religious beliefs, the soccer team of a Mesa, Arizona Christian high school chose to forfeit a game against a team that included girls.
Faith Christian School chose to forfeit rather than face Foothills Academy College Prep, whose team has two female players. According to AZ Central, Faith Christian administrative leader Dick Buckingham thinks that making a statement about equality has no place in sports.
“I know it appears to fly in the face of what everyone is wanting to promote today, and that is equality,” Buckingham said. “It is based on a religious perspective that God created guys and girls differently…. We want to teach our men that honor of ladies is just not in sports.”
“We’re the ones harmed because we’re giving up a game,” he added. “We think it’s better to do that than give a mixed message.”
After the Arizona Republic broke the story, Faith Christian posted on their Facebook page claiming that the events were taken out of context.
“We did not show up at the field and demand the team not play their girls,” the post read. “We contacted the school during the week and respectfully asked if they would consider this. When they decided not to, we accepted that and informed them and the league that we would forfeit the game. This was completed more than 24 hours before the game was to be played, including the outcome being registered on the CAA website.”
The school then reiterated their written position on refusing to play with teams that include girls, saying that it’s a matter of “building character in young men.”
“Faith Christian School is committed to developing young people to be strong, morally sound adults in our community. One of the priorities we have for our young men is that we desire for them to have proper understanding of, honor, and respect for women. In the matter of the playing competitive varsity-level contact sports, we believe it to be an inconsistent message to allow them to compete athletically against teams that include women. This has nothing to do with the ability or strength of female players, or winning and losing. It is about building character in our young men. We have chosen to not compete in games against schools that include girls on their boys’ varsity teams. We respect the decision of schools that choose to include women on their teams and only ask for the same in return.”
Watch AZ Central’s report on the story below:
Follow @deadstatetweets Featured image via Richard Obert (AZ Central Sports)