Black high school softball player Nicole Pires was forced to cut braids during the match

Durham, NC-This is her last home softball game of the season, and Nicole Pires, a sophomore at Durham Hillside High School in North Carolina, has just doubled. Her hair, woven with beads and tied to a bun at the bottom of her neck, was the last of her heart.

But it soon became the focus of the game on April 19th. First, the coach of the other team claimed that she couldn’t see her jersey number, Pires said. 16-year-old Pires said he pushed the blade into his sports bra and continued to play. But then, after the same inning, it reappeared.

The coach of the opposing team pointed the beads to the referee, Pires said. According to the rulebook, hair beads were not allowed. So, despite having previously played four games with beads, the referee gave Pires the option to remove the beads or not.

“I asked why this is a problem now … and he said it was a rule, there’s nothing he can do,” Pires told CNN.

So Pires said her teammates got together and tried to get the beads out of their hair. They were so tightly wound that they had to cut off some of their hair to get rid of all the beads, Pires said.

“I felt dehumanized,” Pailes said.

Currently, the Pires family is trying to change the rules.

“Everyone is hiding behind the rules of the game,” Pires’ father Julius Pires told CNN. “If there was a rule, it should have been applied first, not their last game.”

Related: A New Jersey high school wrestler was forced to break the lock or confiscate the match

The rules are “culturally biased and inappropriate,” says the school district.

The experience of Pires is familiar.

In one of the most famous examples, a black high school wrestler in New Jersey was forced to cut off his dreadlocks to compete in a tournament after being told that his hair did not comply with league regulations.

In 2020, another black high school student was told that he would not be able to walk at graduation without cutting his dreadlocks to comply with the district’s dress code. And there were similar incidents all over the country.

Julius Pires says he has contacted several people at Durham Public School and the North Carolina High School Athletic Association. DPS publicly supports Pyles, but NCHSAA does not.

“The Durham Public School supports students’ right to freedom of expression and opposes unreasonable or biased restrictions on black women’s hairstyles,” the district said in a Wednesday statement about the April match. “I believe the total ban on hair beads is culturally biased and problematic. We support student Nicole Pires and believe that this rule needs to be amended.”

The district further urged NCHSAA and the National Federation of State High Schools (NFHS), to which NCHSAA is a member, to set rules for high school sports in North Carolina, calling it “culturally biased and inappropriate” and policy. I reviewed. .. “

Regulations may be addressed next month, state organizations say

However, NCHSAA Commissioner Que Tucker said the rule was “not new.”

“When the breach was noticed by the referee, the proper decision on illegal equipment was confirmed to be supported by NFHS regulations,” she said in a statement to CNN. “Furthermore, according to NFHS Softball Rule 3-5-1, before the start of the contest, each coach is responsible for confirming that all players are legally equipped and that the players and equipment are with the plate umpire. Yes, it complies with all NFHS regulations. “

Tucker called the experience “really unhappy,” but said the coach’s duty was to make sure players were aware of the rules before playing.

According to Karissa Niehoff, NFHS Secretary-General, the rules for hair beads were first enacted in 2012. The organization said it was set up to “minimize the risk of injury” for athletes during competition.

The NFHS did not say whether the rules would be amended, but Nihoff said the NFHS Softball Rules Committee would “work on hair beads and other ornaments at next month’s annual meeting.”

But the current rules are discriminatory, Julius Pires said.

“By 2021, my child is now part of something that should die and disappear,” said veteran Julius Pires. “I wasn’t discriminated against by this country.” Told.

Durham, one of North Carolina’s largest cities, has already adopted an ordinance banning hair discrimination in the workplace, inspired by the CROWN law, a bill that passes through the legislature to make hair discrimination illegal. doing. And the Durham Public School upheld the resolution, which applies only to places of employment.

Black high school softball player Nicole Pires was forced to cut braids during the match

Source link Black high school softball player Nicole Pires was forced to cut braids during the match

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