A Florida mom has decided to bring some serious hurt to her local Pop Warner football league after they rejected her son from the league, claiming that he’s too fat to play.
WJXT reports that the Putnam County Pop Warner Scholars league ruled that 6-year-old Michael Hernandez didn’t meet the team’s weight requirements, or rather, he exceeded them. Mom Glenda Hernandez says that Michael was devastated when league officials informed her son that he was was 20 pounds overweight at the annual weigh-in.
Glenda says that a doctor signed off on Michael's physical only days earlier, and contends that clearly wouldn't have happened if her son was ineligible for play. Ricky Wright, president of the Putnam County Athletic League, told WJXT, “I explained to the mother that he was not in the range of the weight requirement. Her statement to me was, ‘So you’re saying to me that my son is too fat?’ Unfortunately, this mother was the only one out of all the people standing there who used the word 'fat.'"
The weight and age guidelines for Pop Warner do state that “Tiny Mites,” the youngest of the leagues members, aged 5 to 7, must be between 35 and 75 pounds. Although the site states that they can be “no older/lighter” than the stated range, it’s not expressly stated that they cannot be heavier.
The National Director of Scholastics and Media for Pop Warner, Josh Pruce, told the Huffington Post via phone Wednesday that the organization uses guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's 2000 growth chart for children.
Pruce explained that the CDC’s weight guidelines are in place to keep kids safe. "We are trying to keep players between the ages of 5 and 7, who are trying to learn football, within that [weight] category because player safety is Pop Warner's number one priority,” he says.
Full disclosure, my son played football for a while, and I can see why weight guidelines are in place. As a mom, you don’t necessarily want your 40 pound kid getting tackled by another child 40 pounds larger, that packs a pretty big wallop. But if a doctor has approved Michael for play, the ruling also seems a bit extreme. What do you think, Moms, should Michael have been banned from playing?