“Does anyone have any scissors?”
That’s what a Black softball player was faced with during a recent game in North Carolina. Not tips on her batting stance or what’s the score. No. Instead, she was humiliated by being forced to cut her hair because of the beads in it.
“It was humiliating,” said Nicole Pyles in an interview with The News & Observer earlier this week. “Why do I have to take away from myself just to play this game where we are actually doing well? I’m embarrassed because you pick on me in front of all these people for no reason.
It all happened in a game on April 19th. Pyles, who plays for Hillside High School, was playing against their Durham rival, Jordan High. In the second inning, Pyles was told she had to remove her hair beads or leave the game. The demand came from two umpires, one Black and one white, who quoted a rule from the NFSHSA (National Federation of State High School Associations) that prohibits the use of plastic visors, bandannas, and hair beads.
Despite the humiliation of being singled out, Pyles decided to cut her hair and remove the beads to stay in the game.
While acknowledging the NFSHSA rule, the Durham Public Schools launched an investigation, stating “DPS believes this rule is culturally biased.”
This content has been brought to you by First and Pen in partnership with TheHub.News. First and Pen “amplifies local sports stories from voices of color to the national conscience..”