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Teen growing his hair for kids with cancer is benched by baseball coach for not cutting his hair

May 5, 2014 By Abraham

Liam is a 16-year-old athlete who has been growing out his hair for a year in order to donate it to kids with cancer who need wigs. He is currently researching where to give his hair, hoping he can find an organization that will offer it to children in Canada, so he can keep his donation local.

Teen benched for long hair

But all this good-hearted eagerness to help others is now being pitted against his love of baseball. Last week his coach told him he had to “make an effort to change his hair.”

So Liam did, arriving at the opening game with his locks tightly braided and up under his cap.

This wasn’t good enough. The coach said Liam wouldn’t play because he hadn’t cut his hair. Liam’s mom Kim would have none of this, confronting the coach before the game and recording it

(Read more from the local paper or from CBC News.)

Apparently, according to this coach, having short hair is important if you want to be a leader or “develop character.” It would also seem, if the coach is supposed to be an example, that discriminating based on appearance is a key part of solid leadership and a well-developed character.

The coach got what he wanted on opening day — Liam sat in the dugout. But public opinion is going to side with Liam on this one and he will come out ahead. A rival team has already offered him a spot in their line-up, and everyone who is seeing this story around online is cheering for him.


  1. Eric says:

    Wow, this mom is a bully. I’m glad Liam has a level-headed dad who knows how to talk to coaches and others in authority.

    1. PygmySurfer says:

      How is the mom a bully? The coach is the only bully in this situation. The kid’s hair has nothing to do with respect for his coach. This guy is just on a power trip, forcing the kids to conform to his ideal of how kids should look.

      1. Eric says:

        Yep, the dad says, “You’re the coach, and I respect your decision.” The mom is being a bully by saying that she doesn’t care what the team rules are, she is going to get her way even if that means secretly video recording him with the hopes that the public will rush to her defense in order to bully him to get her way.

        Liam should learn from this dad and coach about being an adult because he isn’t going to get it from his mom.

  2. balldemort says:

    “everyone who is seeing this story around online is cheering for him.”

    Doubt that! Here’s why.

    Rules for teamwork – trusting the coach, obeying the coach. If you don’t want to, then you remove yourself from the team, that is your choice.

    Hardly a huge sacrifice to grow your hair in the first place- hardly some amazing statement of solidarity. It literally requires no effort.

    Now,when it’s a chance to actually make a sacrifice for his cause, it’s time for mummy to get involved? For shame.

    Also, coach says this was not brought up as a counter when he first proposed it, so he might suspect the kid is all-of-a-sudden growing his hair “for a good cause” to manipulate the coach. Of course, if coach buckles, he loses the respect of his team. Not good leadershio.

    Who gets their mum to fight/record their battles for them, anyway?

  3. sra_pipo says:

    My dad has been coaching 35 years and is constantly questioned about his decisions, mostly from mothers who know little or nothing about the game. When I go to the games I generally bring my own chair and sit far, far away from the stands as most of the rabble infuriates me.

    The truth is, not everyone is going to agree with everything, but part of being a team is give and take. Being a part of a team is respecting the coach, even though he IS going to make bad decisions and wrong calls just like the player IS going to make mental and physical errors on the field. That’s the beauty of a team, having each other’s back. Not bringing your mom, minutes before the game starts, to secretly video-tape an inappropriate confrontation.

    Call the man, schedule a meeting, and talk about it privately. Let’s give him the benefit of the doubt. I bet he’s a nice guy and sincerely has Liam’s best interests at heart, even if they don’t agree with how he goes about it. Most coaches are understanding if parents will take the time to work with them and not against them.

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