Alabama 5th Grade Girls Basketball Team Denied Title After Beating Boys' Team, Sparks Outrage

An Alabama youth girls' basketball team that was told they would lose their practice facility unless they agreed to play in a boys' league went on to win the whole thing.

However, they were still denied the championship trophy. Instead, the trophies were given to the boys who, to be clear, were beaten by the girls in the league final, according to the mother of one of the girls.

Girls Told They Can't Use Hoover Gyms for Practices if They Didn't Play in the Boys' League

Hoover girls basketball team
The Spain Park girls basketball team. Twitter

Jayme Mashayekh, the mother of one of the 5th-grade players on the Hoover, Ala., girls' rec team, explained the team's saga en route to winning the championship on her Facebook page.

"These girls have played together for 3 years for a competitive girl's league representing Spain Park," Mashayekhher wrote in a lengthy Facebook post. "All are 5th graders in the Hoover school system. Halfway through their season, they were told they could not use the Hoover gyms for their practices unless they paid to play in the Hoover rec league.

"They were told to stay together as a team they had to play up a level in competition and play the 5th-grade boys," she added. "The girls were middle of the pack throughout the season losing several close games by 1 point.

"Playing the boys was a challenge they rose to meet. It made them better players and a better team, the post read. "They were told before the championship that they could play in it but if they won they wouldn't be allowed to have the trophy."

Mashayekh Claims They were Denied Title Because They were Girls

"Excuse me? What? What did they do to get disqualified? Did they not pay their dues? Did they not play up a level in competition?"

"Oh, it's because they're GIRLS?!?!"

"So sure enough these 5th-grade girls played their hearts out, left it all on the floor, and battled their male counterparts only to be told, 'No, I'm sorry you don't count.'

"I'm disappointed. I'm disappointed I have to tell my daughter that things like this still happen," Mashayekh wrote. "I'm disappointed we teach our kids to accept things they have not earned (other than salvation which can not be earned).

Outrage on Social Media

The story has sparked widespread criticism on social media with users slamming the system.

"There's a team with a huge disadvantage and somehow they overcome the odds and win a championship. How can you look them in the eyes and say "no idc that you were better and won, it doesn't count," wrote one user. "A disgrace to meritocracy."

"I don't mind participation trophies in elementary schools and treating all kids as winners, but giving the boys one after losing and saying you came in first would be embarrassing," commented another.

City Reached Out to Make Amends

"Most of all I'm disappointed in my city who won't allow some 5th-grade girls to play basketball," Mashayekh concluded her post.

Mashayekh has since updated the post, saying the city of Hoover and its rec center has reached out to "make things right for the girls." However, it's not clear what measures have been taken to rectify the issue and make sure the situation doesn't happen again.