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.