Sydney Phillips, a 12-year-old former all-star for the girls’ basketball team at St. Theresa’s School in Kenilworth, New Jersey, was expelled from her Catholic middle school on Wednesday. After the girls’ basketball team at St. Theresa’s was disbanded, Sydney had hoped to join the boy’s team at the school. The school denied her request — despite rules for the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) stipulating that girls be allowed to try out for boys’ teams when no comparable girls’ team was available.
Phillips’ family took legal action against St. Theresa’s, hoping to force the school to let her play. But the school was reportedly protected from bias claims due to its religious status, and the family lost the suit as a judge determined there was not sufficient evidence to change the “status quo.” Adding insult to injury, the parents soon after received a letter from a lawyer for the Archdiocese of Newark informing them that both Sydney and her sister Kaitlyn had been expelled. The family was at a training facility for the WNBA’s New York Liberty when they got the news — Sydney had been invited to watch the professional women’s basketball team practice.
“I’m furious,” said the girl’s father, Scott Phillips, told The New York Post. “This is unbelievable. We just wanted her to play basketball.”
“I am disgusted,” Scott added. “What did Katy do? What did Sydney do? I don’t know what we’re going to do next, but we’re still going to fight.”
Watch video of Sydney playing with the Liberty below.
Read the full story at at The New York Post.