RELIGION
06/21/2013 01:04 pm ET

Maddy Blythe, Georgia Student, Reportedly Kicked Off Christian Football Team Over Gender

A female middle school athlete who dreamed of possibly earning a football scholarship had her hopes dashed this week after officials at her Christian academy in Locus Grove, Ga., said she could not play next year because she is a girl.

Maddy Blythe, 12, racked up several sacks this year as a defensive tackle for the Strong Rock Christian School's Patriots team, reports local television station WSBTV. But school officials, including Strong Rock Christian School CEO Patrick Stuart, disagreed, according to Maddy and her mother, Cassy Blythe.

The Blythes alleged to WSBTV that Stuart used the Bible to justify the move. Explained Maddy: "[Stuart said] that men and women are created equal but different, and he said that he prayed about it and it was the wrong thing to do [to allow me on the team]."

Stuart also reportedly worried that Maddy might inspire "lustful thoughts" in the boys on the team, according to WSBTV.

Outraged, the Blythe family took to social media, creating a "Let her play" Facebook page that so far has over 2,000 Likes.

"My girl can handle herself," Cassy Blythe told CBS Atlanta. "I've seen girls in the military. I've seen fellow female police officers who went out there and they busted tail and they were just ... as good ... if not better in some aspects."

Maddy's family said they were particularly frustrated because her coaches had given her nothing but praise during the season.

“I am still in shock," Cassy Blythe told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "I don’t know where it came from. All we had received from the coaches was encouragement. ‘Maddy’s wonderful. We want her to keep playing. She has found her niche.’’’

"It's like taking my dream and throwing it in the trash," Maddy told local NBC affiliate 11Alive News.

Although Strong Rock Christian School did not immediately respond to The Huffington Post's request for comment, athletic director Phil Roberts told 11Alive News in an email that the school's "official policy is that middle school girls play girl sports and middle school boys play boy sports."

(Hat tip, Raw Story)

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