GREENACRES, Fla. (WSVN) — A South Florida teen took legal action after she was told she couldn’t play on a Greenacres baseball team because she’s a girl, and her efforts paid off.
Middle schooler Violet Mendez loves to play baseball. She told 7News Monday that she doesn’t want to play softball with the girls but baseball with the boys.
Mendez, ranked one of the top 90 best high school baseball players in the country, is still in middle school.
“I love this game. I just love to play with my teammates,” Mendez said.
She can throw a 78-mile-per-hour fastball, play any position on the field and is great at bat. However, the teen’s family said there has been resistance among some parents because of her gender.
The Mendez family hired an attorney to represent them in their fight.
“Because she’s a girl, she has been told she can no longer play on this team,” said attorney Mark Eiglarsh. “She’s been playing on this team for two years, and she kicks butt.”
The family said a parent complained because Mendez is a girl, and they feel it’s discrimination.
“That this is a freak of nature, that she shouldn’t be playing, not with her boy,” said Violet’s father Orlando Mendez.
But Mendez and her loved ones refused to take no for an answer.
“‘Cause it’s unfair,” Eiglarsh said, “and so she’s gonna walk out on that field today and disregard what we think is an unlawful request.”
The Palm Beach County School Board claimed that Mendez didn’t try out for the team and didn’t turn in her paperwork. The family, however, claims that they received the paperwork on Thursday and have since handed it in.
“The bottom line is she’s a superstar and was told she didn’t have to try out,” Eiglarsh said.
Mendez then proudly walked onto the field and played with her team, Monday.
Lawyers for the Palm Beach County School Board also got involved. Eiglarsh read an email he received from them.
“‘I am confirming that District staff have informed me that your client will be allowed to complete the season,'” Eiglarsh said.
Eiglarsh also gave Mendez a pep talk before hitting the field. “There’s nothing holding you back now. I’m proud of you,” he said.
Mendez is thankful that Eiglarsh stepped in. “I’m happy and so glad that he helped me with everything,” she said.
“Whether it had been a boy or a girl, we would have been doing the same thing,” her father said. “There’s no reason for what happened today.”
Mendez’s team won Monday night’s game 10-4.
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