When the Catholic Youth Organization in New Jersey mandated that coed teams were only allowable through 4th grade, 5th-graders on the coed St. John’s Chargers basketball team unanimously voted to forfeit the remainder of their season including the playoffs. The boys on the team refused to play without their two girl teammates. After referees refused to do their jobs if the girls remained on the team, parents and coaches of the player refused to make a decision for the team, and after explaining the potential outcomes, the team put the question to a vote: stick together and forfeit the season, or play without the girls. The team stood together. The CYO eventually reversed the mandate and reinstated the Chargers and their record. These kids know that solidarity is a verb, and were willing to face the repercussions because they knew that the league’s decision was unfair, and basketball was less important to them than standing up for their teammates and doing what was right.
– Brett Goldberg