At just 8 years old, Mili Hernandez is a star soccer player. She's so good that she plays on the 11-year-old roster and, with the rest of her team, made it to the Springfield Soccer Club girls tournament. But when the girls arrived, they were up for a terrible surprise: the team was disqualified – and it was all because the association believed Hernandez was a boy.
The Nebraska child, who has a short haircut, was distraught. Her father, Gerardo Rivera, said his little girl was crying after she heard the news.
“Just because I look like a boy doesn’t mean I am a boy, but they don’t have a reason to kick out the whole team,” she said.
Her parents even showed the tournament’s organizers her insurance card, which had her gender marker on it, but they didn’t budge.
“They didn’t want to listen,” Cruz Hernandez, the child’s older brother, said. “They said the president had made his decision and there wasn’t any changing that.”
If interested, her parents can appeal the decision with the Nebraska State Soccer Association.
The young Latina believes what happened to her was unfair and says she is "unhappy" about it. But she's not letting it keep her down. She's keeping her hair short and looking into other tournaments she can participate in.