“I felt dehumanized,” Pyles said.
Nou, Pyles’ family is attempting to get the rule changed.
“Everyone’s hiding behind the rules of the game,” Julius Pyles, Pyles’ vader, aan CNN gesê. “If there was a rule, it should’ve been applied in the beginning, (not in) their last game.”
Rule is ‘culturally biased and inappropriate,’ school district says
Pyles’ experience is a familiar one.
In one of the most famous examples
, a Black high school wrestler in New Jersey was forced to cut his dreadlocks off in order to compete in a tournament
, after being told his hair wasn’t in compliance with league regulations
In 2020, another Black high school student was told that if he didn’t cut his dreadlocks to comply with the district’s dress code
, he wouldn’t be able to walk at graduation. And there have been similar incidents all across the country
Julius Pyles says he has reached out to multiple people with Durham Public Schools and the North Carolina High School Athletic Association. Though DPS has publicly supported Pyles, the NCHSAA has not.
“Durham Public Schools supports our students
’ right to free expression and opposes unreasonable or biased restrictions on Black women’s hairstyles
,” the district said in a statement Wednesday
, regarding the April game
. “We believe the blanket ban on hair beads is culturally biased and problematic
. We support our student
, Nicole Pyles, and believe this rule should be amended.
The district went on to encourage the NCHSAA and the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS), of which NCHSAA is a member and thus dictating rules across North Carolina high school sports, to review the policy, noem dit “culturally biased and inappropriate.”
Rule may be addressed next month, national organization says
But Commissioner Que Tucker
, of the NCHSAA
, stated that the rule is
“When the violation was noticed by an umpire
, the proper determination of illegal equipment was verified as supported by NFHS Rule
,” she said in a statement to CNN
. “Verder, Volgens NFHS Softball Rule 3-5-1
, prior to the start of a contest
, it is the responsibility of each coach to verify to the plate umpire that all his or her players are legally equipped
, and that players and equipment are in compliance with all NFHS rules.
Tucker called the experience “truly unfortunate,” but said the coach’s duty is to ensure players are aware of the rules before playing.
The rule regarding beads in hair was first enacted in 2012, according to Karissa Niehoff, executive director of the NFHS. It was instituted to “minimize the risk of injury” to athletes during competition, het die organisasie gesê.
Though the NFHS did not say if the rule would be amended, Niehoff did say the NFHS Softball Rules Committee will “address hair beads and other adornments at its annual meeting next month.”
The rule as it stands, wel, is discriminatory, Julius Pyles said.
“Dit is 2021, and now my child is being a part of something that should be dead and gone. I didn’t serve this country to then be discriminated against,” said Julius Pyles, a veteran.
, one of the largest cities in North Carolina
, has already adopted an ordinance that bans hair discrimination in the workplace
, inspired by the CROWN Act
, a bill moving through the state legislature that would make hair discrimination illegal
. And though Durham Public Schools supported the resolution
, it only applies to places of employment