The Albany High School girls’ track and field team was suspended after promoting a petition to wear sports bras instead of shirts during practice, according to the Times Union.
Albany School District Athletic Director Ashley Chapple reportedly asked members of the girls’ track team wearing sports bras to leave practice last week.
The athletes, who complied with Chapple’s request, said they believed practicing while wearing sports bras during a stretch of hot weather was appropriate since their male counterparts were allowed to go shirtless.
“Wednesday, she confronted us about wearing sports bras and saying we couldn’t (just) wear sports bras because we have male coaches,” Jordan Johnson, a standout sophomore sprinter for the Falcons, told the Times Union. “She said that before and she said us working out is a distraction… We have to cover up because male coaches are around.”
Later, Johnson started a petition titled, “Stop Gender Biased Dress Codes: Allow the Girls Track Team to wear Sports Bras.”
The petition included a photo of the girls’ high school track team posing in sports bras while flexing their arm muscles.
The petition had garnered more than 4,000 signatures by Thursday.
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After the practice incident, the girls track team came back to the school to watch a lacrosse game. Three security guards and Chapple were waiting and told the girls’ track team they could not attend.
As a result, 13 members of the girls’ track and field team were suspended last Friday, leaving just two members of the team to compete in the Shenendehowa Invitational later that night. Subsequently, Albany did not score a single point as a team at the event.
The next day, Chapple hand-delivered a letter to each suspended athlete, explaining the discipline. According to the Times Union, the letters stated the student athletes used vulgar language during their exchange with Chapple and security at the lacrosse game.
Johnson, along with other members of the track team, including Kayla Huba and Alexis Arango, said no bad language was used, according to the report.
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