Mum of trans teen describes ‘heartbreaking, gut punch’ moment her son was kicked off the boys’ football team
A trans teenager from Washington state who was told he can’t play soccer on a boys’ football team because of a “discriminatory” policy has spoken of his heartbreak at the decision.
Bobby Jones, 13, plays soccer for the Titans FC Bellevue. After coming out as trans in 2019, he asked to play on the boys’ team.
His football club was initially “really supportive” and were happy to let Jones play on the team that matches his gender identity, his mother told KIRO7.
However, that team plays as part of the Puget Sound Premier League, which has a policy that says players must participate on teams that match the gender they were assigned at birth.
It’s a gut punch as a parent. Maybe they’re just not aware of what their policy is doing to players and maybe they have never encountered an openly trans athlete before.
That policy meant Jones was turned away from the boys’ team.
Jones and his parents – who have rallied behind him in his battle – have called the policy “discriminatory” and hit out at the league for not allowing trans athletes to play on the correct teams.
The trans teenager and his parents are appealing to the football league to let him play on the correct team.
“Trans youth face so many barriers already,” Eleanor Jones, the boy’s mother said.
“We’re simply asking that they uphold that very public social justice policy.”
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She continued: “It’s a gut punch as a parent. Maybe they’re just not aware of what their policy is doing to players and maybe they have never encountered an openly trans athlete before.”
The family have since appealed to the league to change its policies to include trans players.
League organisers responded and said that they would look into the issue, but said any potential changes could take some time.
His father, Dakota Jones, said: “A lot of damage can occur during that timeframe, and it’s not really acceptable to push something important like that off.”
Meanwhile, Bobby said: “I hope that they change the policy so they’re more inclusive.”
“You have to stand up for what you believe in or change is never going to happen,” he added.