Even though her father tried to explain that the colorful accessories were actually a requirement to hold her hair in place, parks and recreation officials did not even budge.
Last month, a young girl was denied the opportunity to play at a youth soccer game because of her colorful bows and hair clips. The 6-year-old Hope Mills resident arrived at a park on Monday, September 18, alongside her father to take part in a recreation soccer game. But she was not allowed to join the other children as the league noted her hair clips were against the rule. Even though her father tried to explain that the colorful accessories were actually a requirement to hold her hair in place, parks and recreation officials did not even budge.
"My husband even asked them, 'what needs to be removed so that she can play?' He was like, 'and how about this, we'll take it as a warning about her hair, let her play the game next game, we'll know what to do,'" revealed the girl's mother Darialle Marshmon. But to the family's dismay, no one was interested in resolving the issue and letting the kid play. "Nobody even offered a solution for her to play in her game," she added.
At this point, her husband inquired about the rules governing one's hair during youth soccer games. "So one of the other volunteers, I'm not sure her name, she comes back with a piece of paper with the rules and regulations on it. It said no jewelry, watches, rings, necklace, hair beads, hair wear of any type, can be worn during the game. My husband explained to them, this is not beads or headwear, these are ponytail holders, and clips, this is what holds her hair together. If they removed it, her hair is going to be all over her head," she added.
Understandably, the little girl was left heartbroken knowing that she could not play with her friend. "She went off the field, crying, confused, six years old: 'I don't understand what's wrong with my hair! I've been wearing my hair this way forever.' Other children, boys, and girls had -- they had beads on and they were playing in their game," shared Marshmon, according to ABC11. Like any parent, Marshmon wasn't going to just sit still and watch as her child was humiliated for no fault of her own. Thus she demanded, "I want a formal apology to my family and to my daughter."
Marshmon also took to Facebook and wrote, "This is unacceptable! In accordance to [sic] your “No Jewelry” rule for soccer, hair clips are not 'hair beads' or 'headwear of any type.' In the year of our Lord 2021, asking a little 6yo girl to alter the wear of her hair due to a subjective and culturally biased ruling during the play of any sport is outdated and not the move. There were other options that could’ve been taken tonight but instead, you left us with the option of degrading the appearance and demoralizing our sweet little girl by suggesting to undue her hair clips. Those hair clips are her personal appearance that she has worn her entire life. Instead, we were left with a sadden [sic] and tearful [sic] little girl who had to be consoled while she cried uncontrollably, questioning her physical appearance. The trauma and torment she suffered tonight can not be undone. Sorry baby girl, but this is America."
They start chipping away at our children’s sense of self as soon as they can in overt and covert ways… #ProtectMine— Abram L (@DrAbramL) September 22, 2021
6-year-old told she couldn't play in Hope Mills soccer game because of hair clips and bows https://t.co/WOsg1N8FXM
When the news outlet reached out to Hope Mills Parks and Recreation Assistant Director, Maxie Dove, a PDF of the rules outlining in-game hair accessory policies was sent over which clearly stated, "No watches, rings, earrings or hair beads of any type are allowed." The park athletic director claimed Marshmon was warned that her daughter would be removed if she wore the dangerous beads and that she chose to keep them. But the mother said, "If they would’ve told us it was the plastic clips at the end of her hair, we could’ve simply did that and we could have explained to her that the plastic clips may hit somebody in the eye - none of that was explained."
A parks and recreations spokesperson explained that hair decorations need to be of "soft material," and assured that they would do their best to explain the rules in a better manner moving forward. As for the family, officials will apologize to them for the way the whole thing was handled by the referee, who are hired by a third party. Marshmon, who is also open to having an exchange of dialogue, noted that she would use soft hair clips for her daughter's hair that would not go against the league's rules. "She has a different style of bows, so I don’t have an issue with that but all people deserve is an explanation," she told WRAL.
Cover image source: Facebook | Da'Raille Marshmon