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  • Writer's pictureKristin Woodward

girls don’t sit on the bench

i know. as usual, i’m a little late. but today at the gym, i was lucky, um, to be at the gym at lunch time for the first time in a long time. but also to hear CNN coverage of this story. i can’t find the Ashleigh Banfield clip, but found this much better one, instead. so proud of this little girl, her family and her team — 10-year-old boys wearing pink shorts, y’all! — for supporting her. love that WNBA took it on, too. just so cool it brought tears to my eyes on the elliptical and again just now, watching this clip. and i wanted to share for those who hadn’t seen it.

the story hits pretty close to home, because Friday night, as Miss Girl and i drove home from school both wearing our Falcons shirts and looking forward to the second pre-season game, she asked “Mommy, can girls play football?” um. “of course, they can!” i answered confidently, while inwardly scratching my head to figure out what to do with this. we proceeded to have a conversation about it. she wanted to know if she could play like Matty Ice. she does wear the number 2 jersey, after all. i told her yes, but that maybe football was more like a first grade thing — and hoped that when it really became a thing, if that’s still what she wants to do, it would be so.

she loves her soccer. she’ll keep playing this year, albeit in the afterschool program. if she decides she wants to try football or basketball or anything else, as far as i’m concerned, she will. and i will do everything i can to help her be awesome at whatever she loves. and i hope that she is lucky enough to play on teams that are as open and nurturing to talent — no matter who it belongs to — as this awesome team was. and now i just wanna know where i can get one of the “girls don’t sit on the bench” shirts in my size!

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