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Hair-Pulling Soccer Player: Mean Girl or Just Plain Competitive?

Hair-Pulling Soccer Player: Mean Girl or Just Plain Competitive?

Soccer player Elizabeth Lambert became an overnight YouTube sensation for pulling another player's hair. Our lesbian sports' writer ponders if Lambert is a mean girl soccer player or just plain competitive? And if it had been a man, would it have been such a big deal?

Last week I sat in an airport bar waiting for a flight back home. I'd been in Dallas visiting family, hording Mexican food and getting a tour of the brand new Cowboys' Football stadium.

As I checked my watch and checked my drink I looked up at the nearest TV to see a girl pulling this other girl's ponytail on a soccer field. The video feed had been looped and they just keep playing the scene over and over again. The big headline underneath read "Girl Violence In Sports." I watched Elizabeth Lambert yanking some other team player's chain and I started to smile. My thought process went as follows:

1)    Where's the ref?
2)    Oh dear...that's a yellow card for sure.
3)    Yeah...that's why I have short hair.

It never entered my mind to think that Lambert was being violent.

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It's soccer: just like baseball, there's no crying. Sure there are penalties and colored cards but who's really surprised that a woman wants to win as much as a man and will throw a couple of elbows or hair-pulls once in a while?

I started humming. "bad girls, bad girls...what 'cha gonna do when they come for you..." and the bartender refilled my glass. He joined in because he understood.

"What's the big deal?" he sang. "That was a Saturday morning practice when I played soccer. Girl, guy...I don't care. You get hyped up for a game." I liked that guy very much and gave him a big tip.

Drifting off to sleep as the flight attendant stated that my cushion could be used as a floatation devise, I thought two things:
1)    Where is there that much water between Dallas and Philadelphia?
2)    Was I a mean soccer player?
I never pulled anyone's hair but I did get a yellow card for tackling the goalie inside her box (no puns please). I also broke a girl's nose when I kicked the ball as hard as I could right between her eyes. In my defense I was aiming for over her head. I had a reputation for being aggressive but took my share of kicks myself. Put your ear to my left knee and hear it crunch. I loved to play and almost never took anything personally.

What do you think? Were you a mean sports' player or just competitive? Come on ladies...lets strip down to our undies and compare scars.


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Helen Wortham