The sign was stuck on the ice rink glass so players could see. (Donna Bloss/ Facebook)
A female ice hockey player and only girl on an all-boys team was taunted during a game last week with a “gender reveal” sign and chants of “she has a penis”.
Alyssa Wruble, 17, is the only female on the Northampton Area High School varsity ice hockey team in Pennsylvania, and according to Lehigh Valley Live she dreams of one day playing for the US Olympic women’s ice hockey team.
Wruble said she’s used to teasing about her gender by spectators, but at a championship game on February 26 against the hockey team’s arch rivals, the taunts hit a new low.
Wruble’s aunt, Donna Bloss, wrote about the incident on Facebook: “My niece Alyssa, is a junior at Northampton High School. This tiny little thing is an amazing hockey player… This past week Northampton was in the championship playoffs with their arch rivals Parkland High School.￼
“The level of unsportsmanlike conduct during these several championship games was mine boggling. I’ve toyed with whether or not to even put this out there for fear of upsetting my niece even further but she knows this was done out of sheer jealousy.
“They couldn’t go after her personality… She rocks. They couldn’t go after her skill… She kills it in the games￼￼￼. So this is what we’re left with. The Parkland fans stooping to an all time low.”
The sign, posted on the rink glass so the players could see it, read: “Alyssa, gender reveal?” Underneath were two boxes with male and female symbols.
Wruble told Lehigh Valley Live that the the sign isn’t just a shot at her, it’s an attack on any woman or LGBT+ person trying to play a male-dominated sport.
Her aunt had a message for the Parkland High School fans: “What a classy group you are. From the parent yelling ‘take her out’, to the group chanting ‘she has a penis’ and ‘[number] 35 you’re a dude’, ￼to hanging this ridiculous sign.
“Competitive banter and egging each other on is all in the spirit of game.
“When a player on your, team twice her size, checks her extra hard into the wall and takes her down, she handles it like a pro. It’s rough but she gets back up knowing￼ it’s part of the game.
“But ￼￼personal attacks, bullying and borderline sexual harassment has no place in high school sports or anywhere for that matter”
Parkland High School said in a statement: “There is no place for unsportsmanlike conduct or personal harassment in our school, or any where, and anyone involved will be disciplined according to Parkland policy and procedures.
“Furthermore, to Alyssa and her family, we are sorry for the pain caused by the sign.
“Parkland fully supports gender equity and Parkland is proud to have female players on its own hockey team.
“Alyssa is a respected team mate to many Parkland players on other teams and she is also a respected opponent.”