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Basketball Team Disqualified Because of What?

A Virginia basketball team was disqualified from the national championship after a parent complained about one of the team's players. The complaint wasn't about unsportsmanlike conduct or being too big or too old for the travel team youth league.

The player's offense? She's a girl.

Kymora Johnson has been playing for the Charlottesville Cavaliers under-11 team for three years. The 10-year-old has been in countless tournaments with the team, including twice at the National Travel Basketball Association tourney.

This time, though, when the team won their fifth game at NTBA in Myrtle Beach, S.C., the organization's president, John Whitley, told the Cavaliers' coach that the team would be disqualified, because girls were not allowed to play in the event, the NYPost reports.

Whitley explained to the coach that he had received a complaint from someone who snapped a photo of Kymora dribbling or shooting ... or something.

According to NBTA rules, girls are allowed to play in some of the tournaments, but only with a waiver. The reason being that NTBA holds national tournaments for boys' and girls' teams — so mixing shouldn't have to happen.

The disqualification no doubt made the disgruntled shutterbug happy, but it sparked outrage on social media and for good reason. Why can't girls choose which team they want to play with? Who's to say there was a girls basketball team option for Kymora? What lesson does this teach young boys in sport, some Twitter users are asking.

Nate Smith tweeted: "Sure way to prevent a bunch of boys from ever growing into men; kick a girl out of a tourney for competing against them #EqualityForKymora"

Twitter user @Kimberly_A questioned the timing: "Rules are rules, but U can't enforce rules arbitrarily! Enforcing the no girls rule only AFTER the team wins is wrong! #EqualityForKymora"

Kymora's mother told Yahoo! Parenting that the team wasn't informed of the new rules, including when she presented her daughter's birth certificate and identification card at check-in. The NTBA defended the decision to disqualify the team, saying the Cavaliers' coach was informed of the new rule and that this is the consequence for playing Kymora—an ineligible player for the dumbest reason, anyway.

Why are we separating kids by gender, especially in youth sports?

Image via Twitter

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