Miltenberg: “She Wants to Play Football, They Don’t Want to Play Against Her,” Yahoo! Sports


Only a few days before her teenage daughter was supposed to play in her first football game last March, Sonya Herrera received an unsettling phone call. The football coach at her daughter’s Central California high school hinted that he had bad news and asked if they could speak in person. What Herrera learned during their subsequent conversation that afternoon left her “in disbelief.” Cuyama Valley High’s first opponent was canceling their upcoming game. And the presence of Herrera’s daughter was the reason why. Valley Christian Academy refused to play an opponent with a girl on its team … In April, one of America’s leading attorneys on Title IX matters received a phone call about what happened to Sonya’s daughter. Andrew Miltenberg wasn’t sure whether to take on the case … until he read the Valley Christian Academy superintendent’s letter. “That letter was really the tipping point for me,” Miltenberg told Yahoo Sports. “The letter is what made me say, ‘This is just outrageous.’” Miltenberg helped Sonya draft a 24-page complaint accusing Valley Christian Academy of sex discrimination. In the lawsuit, filed last month in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, Herrera accused Valley Christian of violating Title IX law by depriving her daughter of the opportunity to play in a football game solely because she is female. Herrera is seeking a jury trial, unspecified monetary damages and an injunction that prevents Valley Christian Academy from discriminating against high school athletes based on sex.

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