An 8-year-old girl was banned from a soccer tournament in Springfield, Nebraska, on June 4 for having a short hair and resembling a boy (video below).
Mili Hernandez explained her hairstyle to WOWT: "When my hair starts to grow I put it short because I've always had short hair. I didn't like my hair long."
However, that fateful choice disqualified Mili and her team, Omaha's Azzuri Cachorros girls club, from playing in the Springfield Soccer Club girls tournament because the organizers believed Mili was a boy.
Mili's dad Gerardo Hernandez told the news station that his daughter "was in shock," and that "[s]he was crying after they told us ... They made her cry."
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"Just because I look like a boy doesn't mean I am a boy," Mili insisted. "They don't have a reason to kick the whole club out."
The Hernandez family recalled showing Mili's insurance card to the organizers, but that proof was not enough.
"They didn't want to listen," Mili's brother, Cruz Hernandez, said. "They said the president made his decision and there wasn't any changing that."
"Since I can't play here, there's other tournaments that I can play," Mili said.
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Springfield Soccer Club organizers refused to be interviewed by WOWT, and referred to the news station to the club's lawyer.
The organizers did say that the Hernandez family can appeal the disqualification to the Nebraska State Soccer Association.
Viewers on the WOWT Facebook page were outraged:
It is called a pixie cut for God's sake. It has been around forever, Audrey Hepburn had one, Mia Farrow and that didn't stop Frank Sinatra from marrying her, Janelle Monae, Scarlett Johanson, Anne Hathaway, oh and Meghan Klingenberg who played on the US Women's Soccer team in the 2015 FIFA World Cup final. But sure, the length of one's hair is a determination of gender and perception of athletic ability. Milly is a great player and that cannot be because she is simply a talented female athlete it has to be because she is possibly a boy and cheating. Nice message to the female athletes in your community Springfield Soccer club.
That's definitely one of the most horrible things you could do to this child...her team/club...what kind of idiots are on this board...probably the same ones that are on the OPS school board...Not only is an apology necessary...the removal of the boards President is needed...very negligent.
So many adult professional female soccer players have their hair short all over the world. Springfield soccer made a horrible, non-fact based decision here. Do a little investigating before you act.
Unless Milli has a willie, this is silly. (I couldn't resist) There's a lawyer salivating over this story right now. This has National news written all over it. Dumb move, Springfield Soccer Club.