Sam “Sweet Feet” Gordon, the same Utah girl who scored 25 touchdowns as an 8-year-old while playing against boys in her first ever season playing tackle football, doesn’t want to wait until she’s out of high school to play on her school team. Three years ago, she and her father helped found a youth tackle football league for girls to allow her and other girls to pursue their interest in the game. But when her father reached out to the Utah High School Activities Association to ask if they would consider forming girls’ football teams of their own, he was told to focus on his own league. Now, together with some of her football playing friends, the 14-year-old “Sweet Feet” is forcing the issue — by filing a Title IX lawsuit against three local school districts to force high schools to offer girls’ football.
“I don’t want to wait 10-15 years,” said Brent, Sam Gordon’s father. “My daughter would be 30 years old by then. These girls want to play now.”
While Title IX does have a “contact sports exemption” which allows schools to restrict girls from joining boys’ teams or forming teams of their own in contact sports such as football, high schools across the country have continued to offer girls’ teams in similarly violent sports such as ice hockey. According to experts, the success of the suit will largely depend on whether they can prove sufficient community interest in girls’ football to warrant a team.
“If our rec league has had growth over three years, our expectation is that a heck of a lot more girls would want to play for a high school team,” said Brent, noting that his league had already quadrupled in size from 50 to 200 girls.
“It’s not a publicity stunt. We want a change in the sporting landscape,” said the girls’ lawyer, Loren Washburn. “We are going to face some public backlash here. There’s a segment of our population that will have a hard time embracing girls playing.”
Sam, for her part, is already prepared for the fallout. According to her dad, she’s been enduring the taunts of critics on social media for a long time.
“I just ignore the negative,” Sam tells him.
Watch a highlight real from Gordon’s first year playing football below.
Read the full story at Yahoo News.