Hope Mills, North Carolina — A mother from Hope Mills says her 6-year-old daughter was not allowed to play football because of her hair. She says her daughter was rejected without explanation.
The 2021 Hope Mills Parks and Recreation Football Rules Handbook clearly states here that no hair beads are allowed.
The 6-year-old’s mother says she was never told why her daughter’s hair accessories weren’t allowed.
Gabriella was getting ready to play soccer through a program offered by Hope Mills Parks and Recreation.
The referee told her she couldn’t play because of her hair.
“She was very upset, she cried a few times and just had questions about the issue,” said Daraille Marshmon, Gabriella’s mother.
Gabriella’s mum says her daughter has worn the same hairdo many times before, in training with no problem. On Monday, they told her she had to remove her hair knots without further explanation.
“I never imagined that we would personally be put in this situation to have to be removed because of your hair and all it took was someone caring enough to explain,” said Marshmon.
The 2021 football rules state “No watches, rings, earrings or hair beads of any type are permitted.”
The park’s athletic director said the mother had been told the beads were dangerous and her daughter could play if she removed them. However, she chose not to.
The mother says otherwise.
“If they had told us it was the plastic clips at the end of his hair, we could have just done it and we could have explained to him that the plastic clips could hit someone in the eye – nothing at all it hasn’t been explained,” Marshmon said.
Gabriella will now have to use soft hair clips to move forward if she wants to play. Which is not a problem for the family.
“She has a different arc style, so I don’t have a problem with that, but everyone deserves an explanation,” Marshmon said.
The sporting director claims the incident may have been mishandled by the referee. Arbitrators are hired by a third party.