In a story out of Mesquite, Texas, Elijah Earnheart, a 12 year old, 300 pound boy has been ruled ineligible to play pee-wee football because of his size. Now it should be noted, the weight limit for pee-wee football for 12 year old is 135 lbs, and Earnheart is more than double that. Earnheart also stands at over six feet tall, making him sound more like a college or NFL player than a 12 year old.

Earnheart has been practicing with a local pee-wee team. However when it came time for a preseason weigh in, it was determined that he was too big, and would no longer be allowed to practice or play.

Some may be pointing out that being in seventh grade, Earnheart should be playing football at the middle school level. Earnheart however does not want to, stating, "I don't want to play in school right now because it's people that's had experience and I want to get some experience first and then start playing. I just want to play because my teammates are my friends. I know them. I don't want to go play for somebody else I don't know."

Responding to criticism, the president of the Mesquite Pee Wee Football Association stated that, "The coach over there should have known this. He's been told this. He's been to our meetings. He knows this. I don't know where the misunderstanding was. We hate it. I don't like it for the kid or the parents." Essentially placing the blame on the football coach for allowing the player to participate in the first place.

Earnheart is obviously upset, but it should be pointed out that the rules are in place to keep the players safe, not as a discriminatory policy. If you have players that are 100lbs, it is simply unsafe to have them attempt to tackle someone three times their size. To put it in perspective, imagine a 200 lb man attempting to tackle a horse, simply put, it is not going to end well.

Personally I feel bad for Earnheart, because he legitimately wants to play the game. That being said however he has the option of playing school ball. Pee-Wee football has rules in place and he and his family must understand that. Also, they must understand that it is not a personal attack against him, but rather it is an attempt to keep the 99% of other players no where as big as he is safe.

Check out the video for more details on Earnheart's experience.
Dallas News |


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