The story of Milagros “Mili” Hernandez is all over social media for one important reason: no one should ever hinder your passion, in this case soccer, especially if they’re discriminating against you based on your looks.
Mili, an 8-year-old, girl was supposed to play in a soccer finals tournament on Sunday but the entire team was disqualified because the organizers insisted she was a boy, simply because of her short hair!
Gerardo Hernandez, Mili’s dad, told an NBC affiliate,WOWT 6 News, that he was shocked. Clearly, Mili was too.
“She was crying after they told us... They made her cry.” Gerardo said. Mili told WOWT that she shouldn’t be penalized just because of the style of her hair.
“When my hair starts to grow, I put it short because I’ve always had short hair. I didn’t like my hair long,” Mili said. “Just because I look like a boy doesn’t mean I am a boy. They don’t have a reason to kick the whole club out.”
The family went as far as to prove their daughter’s gender by showing the tournament officials their insurance card that said Mili is female but they didn’t buy it.
“They didn’t want to listen,” Mili’s brother Cruz said. “They said the president made his decision and there wasn’t any changing that.”
The tournament officials released the following statement about why they didn’t believe Mili or her family.
“(T)he roster submitted to the state by the club identified this player as male, and the competition rules for US Youth Soccer do not allow boys to play on a girls’ team,” Nebraska State Soccer Executive Director Casey Mann said in a written statement.”
Right, blame it on a typo. Regardless of why this happened, the fact of the matter is that Mili’s story has inspired countless of people, proving that whatever your passion is, you should never stop pursuing it despite the obstacles you face.
Now, pro-soccer players are cheering on Mili and encouraging her to keep on playing. Including Olympic gold medalist and Women’s World Cup champion Abby Wambach.
View this post on Instagram
Dear Mili Hernandez, you are amazing in every way. Thank you for teaching us how to be brave and shining a light on something so hurtful. If you don't know, she is my new hero. Her team was disqualified from a tourney cause they thought she was a boy because of a clerical error that wasn't handled properly. Let's meet soon sister.
And American soccer legend Mia Hamm tweeted:
Hey Mili, we would love to host you at one of our camps @TeamFirstSA . Be you!
— Mia Hamm (@MiaHamm) June 5, 2017