A Texas Pee Wee football league has ruled that a 300-pound seventh-grader, Elijah Earnhardt, is too big to play football with other 12 year olds on the Pee Wee league. I can see their point. No matter how great or careful of a player this child may be, the sheer mass of him could really physically hurt another average sized 12-year-old. If I were the parent of another team member, I would fear for my child’s safety on the field.
Elijah Earnhardt, 12, was devastated when the Mesquite Pee Wee Football Association informed him last week that he would not be allowed to play in the league this year. His mother said he came home completely defeated after getting the news.
The league’s rule is that any seventh-grader weighing more than 135 pounds is barred and must play in his school’s league. Elijah does not want to play with the schoolÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s league because all of his friends play on the Mesquite Pee Wee league.
He may be big, but he is still a child and itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s understandable that he wants to play with his friends and play with people on his own experience level. The players on the school team are more experienced.
Earnhardt, who is more than 6 feet tall, and his mother, Cindy, are protesting the decision, as is his coach, Marc Wright. Coach Wright says there are already numerous players who are playing over the 135-pound weight limit and are identified by an Ã¢â‚¬Å“XÃ¢â‚¬Â on their helmet. Players over the 135-pound weight limit must play offensive line, defensive line only.
Cindy Earnhardt, like any mother, is upset to see her son so defeated and wanting to give up on football altogether. As a mother, I can completely understand that, but she has to see that her son could pose a definite physical threat to other boys his age, even if that is not his intention. He is double the weight limit and if he were to tackle a 135-pound boy, he could inflict substantial physical harm.
ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s not fair to Elijah Earnhardt. My daughters are both very tall and there will come a point where that will be a limitation to them in ballet. LetÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s face it; itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s just not feasible for a male dancer to lift a female lead that towers over him. This will be a physical limitation, just like being too small for other sports. I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t look forward to it and I know my girls will be devastated, but what can I do other than search the world for a towering male lead?
I think in this case, his mother needs to help her son understand why the ruling was made and that it is nothing that he did wrong or that he lacks any skills, he is simply not a good fit for this particular Pee Wee league. Cindy Earnhardt needs to help him move on to a place of understanding and acceptance so that he can join a team that will fit his needs better.
By protesting, she is only prolonging the inevitable and making a bigger spectacle of her sonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s size, which is not what he needs. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s not personal; his size is a liability when playing with smaller children. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a fact, not an opinion.
The league is holding itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s ground on itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s ruling but has said that they are very sad that it comes at a price of hurting ElijahÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s feelings and that his coach should have been aware of the rules.
Do you think this is a fair ruling?
Photo Source: Hill Country Hack