A basketball referee has been banned from officiating games in Chesapeake, Virginia, after commenting on a 10-year-old girl’s hairstyle.
The young girl wore her hair in braids with blue weave woven in it. According to her mother, Erica Guerrier, the referee said it was against the rules, WAVY reports.
“The Chesapeake official came, and they had my daughter come over and he pointed to…the point where her natural hair meets the hair that was braided in and said he didn’t know what that was, and I said that’s her natural hair,” Guerrier, who also coaches the team, told WAVY.
“There is no such rule, so why are you bringing this up in front of this girl that her only love is just to play basketball?” she continued.
The referee did not stop there, pointing out that the player would have to change her hair as she moves up in the league.
Executive Director Billy Haun agreed that the situation was handled inappropriately.
“If there were concerns about that young lady’s hair, that is a conversation you have with a coach and with a player, and in this case as young as this player was, you have the conversation with the parent before the game starts, but not during the game. Somewhere private. That’s not something you do on the floor during the game, before the game, or after the game,” he said of the incident to WAVY.
This is not the first time Black athletes, or Black people in general, have dealt with the policing of their hair.
Recently, teenager Andrew Johnson was forced to cut his dreads off before competing in a wrestling match. Blavity reported he is still being harassed over his hair. Additionally, in New Orleans, a sixth-grader was left in tears after being forced to leave her school because of her braids.
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