Teen fights Philadelphia Archdiocese again for girls to play football

EMBED </>More Videos

A 13-year-old Doylestown girl, who fought for the right to play CYO football with the guys, is fighting the Archdiocese of Philadelphia once again. (WPVI)

It's been nearly two years since Doylestown, Bucks County teen Caroline Pla fought the Philadelphia Archdiocese to play CYO football with the boys and won.

Number 20 noticed the guys got bigger.

"I was a little bit scared in the beginning but then I realized no matter how big they were, I could still hold my own and I still did a good job," said Caroline.

Her team won back-to-back CYO champions.

But after the 13-year-old aged out this past season, Archbishop Charles Chaput changed his mind and said no girls are allowed in contact sports.

"I feel like what it did - it impacted but now I feel it's just going back to the way things were before all this happened," said Caroline.

In 2013, a panel of parents, coaches and sports medicine experts agreed with the policy that girls shouldn't play CYO football.

The archbishop still allowed Caroline to participate but said the ruling was "provisional" - so not set in stone.

"I knew that word was trouble when I read it and I knew that was a loophole," said Seal Pla, mother.

Since Caroline's crusade for change, Catholic officials across the area have taken a look and re-enforced their 'no girls allowed' policies.

The Archdiocese says it's because of safety and that "gender differences are important and play a large role in development of mature Christian male and female identity."

Caroline's mother says her daughter became the face of the national fight.

"Caroline opened the door. We don't want that door to shut and that's what we feel - they shut the door," said Seal.

While it doesn't appear that girls are lining up to play contact sports in the Catholic league, Caroline says the option should exist.

"I'm just fighting for others. I feel like I have to be the voice that fights for the people," she said.

While the Archdiocese is taking a stand, Caroline vows to keep fighting.

Related Topics:
sportsphiladelphia archdioceseteenphilly newspa. newssportsAction News SportsDoylestown Township
(Copyright ©2017 WPVI-TV. All Rights Reserved.)

Load Comments