This is bigotry on account of ignorance on account of religion:
The Kansas State High School Activities Association said referees reported that Michelle Campbell was preparing to officiate at St. Mary’s Academy near Topeka on Feb. 2 when a school official insisted that Campbell could not call the game.
The reason given, according to the referees: Campbell, as a woman, could not be put in a position of authority over boys because of the academy’s beliefs.
At least some people have a brain in Kansas. Campbell’s co-referee (a male) walked off the court with her. Another ref was called in to take their place:
Fred Shockey, who was getting ready to leave the gym after officiating two junior high games, said he was told there had been an emergency and was asked to stay and officiate two more games.
“When I found out what the emergency was, I said there was no way I was going to work those games,” said Shockey, who spent 12 years in the Army and became a ref about three years ago. “I have been led by some of the finest women this nation has to offer, and there was no way I was going to go along with that.”
Shockey did eventually officiate the game, though.
Is the Activities Association going to take action against the private school? They can’t change the school’s policies but they can do something:
Gary Musselman, the association’s executive director, said the organization will not make a decision until it confirms whether St. Mary’s Academy has a policy of not allowing female referees to work boys basketball games.
If that is indeed the school’s written policy, Musselman said, the association could decide to remove St. Mary’s Academy from the list of approved schools and take away its ability to compete against the association’s more than 300 member schools.
St. Mary’s Academy officials declined comment when contacted by The Associated Press on Wednesday.
“We view officials not as male or female, Hispanic or African-American or Asian-American. We view officials as officials,” Musselman said. “Discrimination against our officials is something we can’t be party to.”
Can’t wait to hear the school’s explanation for this one…
(Thanks to Kate for the link!)