'Sounds a lot like segregation': New Jersey boy told he can't be on a softball team with his sisters
Cayden and his sisters, Rylee and Kelsey, are triplets, and the nine-year-old boy was hopeful that he could play softball with his sisters this upcoming season. On top of getting to play alongside his siblings, he just prefers the game over baseball.
“I played baseball for a couple of years, and those years I couldn’t wait for the season to be over. But softball, when I practice, I almost never want it to end because I’m having so much fun with my friends,” Cayden told Radio.com.
Cayden hoped an impassioned letter to Old Tappan’s Recreation Commission and the league would persuade them into letting a boy join the softball team, coached by his father, William Walsh.
While Old Tappan’s Recreation Commission was supportive and even suggested letting Cayden warm the bench, the league sent a clear message back: No boys allowed.
“In the letter I said ‘I see no reason why a person can’t play a sport because they have a different gender,'” Cayden said to PIX11. His letter went on to read, “If you ask me that sounds a lot like segregation.”
The Walshes told the outlet that the league encouraged Cayden to start a co-ed softball league. They also added “girls” to their name, making them the Northern Valley Girls Softball League.
Commission Chairman Cort Gwon said that Old Tappan had approved a co-ed softball league, and the town itself is lucky to have Cayden as a citizen. However, starting a co-ed team will take some time, and the Northern Valley Girls Softball League states that their bylaws clearly show boys are not allowed to join. Cayden won’t even be able to sit on the bench, as it violates the rules of the league.
“What if you let one shy boy play softball because he’s scared to play baseball and it’s the one thing that changes this kid for the rest of his life?” Cayden’s father William asked PIX11. “Is it worth it? I think it is.”
William, who claims he has been threatened with being removed as coach, plans to continue to fight for his son’s right to play softball.
Northern Valley Girls Softball League did not immediately respond to Yahoo Lifestyle’s requests for comment.
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