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Ellen DeGeneres and 11-Year-Old Football Player Caroline Pla Take on the Catholic Church

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Caroline Pla, aged 11, has been playing football ever since she was five-years-old and has been on the Romans Football team in Doylestown, PA, for two years. However, now the team, which is run by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia’s Catholic Youth Organization, is trying to get her to stop playing.

They have conveniently found a rule that supposedly says that football is for men only and this could be her last year playing because “women are too weak and fragile for the sport.”

Frustrated after several meetings with the CYO that went nowhere, Caroline and her family turned to the internet. Caroline’s mother, Seal, created a petition on to get the diocese to stop their discrimination of female football players. This petition has over 68,000 signatures and includes Ellen DeGeneres, who invited her onto her show early last week to discuss the situation.

During her time on Ellen’s show, both Caroline and Ellen discuss the “women are too weak for football” rule that the CYO supposedly stumbled across in their handbook, and if Caroline has been hurt on the field (she hasn’t). She even jokes that while she may not have been injured, she has certainly caused a few other injuries to members of the opposing team which goes to show that female football players are just as tough as their male counterparts.

With any luck, this petition will change the archaic rule in the CYO so that Caroline and all other girls like her can play their beloved sport. After all, it’s 2013 and all sports should be equal opportunity by now.

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