Elijah Earnheart is a football player that stands over six feet tall and weighs nearly 300 pounds. On paper, that sounds like great size for an offensive or defensive lineman.
But nothing about Earnheart’s situation is great. The Mesquite, Texas resident is only 12 years old and the rules of his local league state that he’s too heavy to compete.
According to MyFOXDFW.com, during a Sunday weigh-in for his Mesquite Pee Wee Football Association team, it was ruled that Earnheart could not play because he was over the 135-pound weight limit set by the league.
The only other option for the seventh grader is to play in the school league, something an inexperienced Earnheart doesn’t feel he is ready for.
“I don’t want to play in school right now because it’s people that’s had experience and I want to get some experience first and then start playing,” he told the website. “I just want to play because my teammates are my friends. I know them. I don’t want to go play for somebody else I don’t know.”
Earnheart’s mother, Cindy, told MyFOXDFW.com that she plans to protest with signs and shirts saying, “Let Elijah Play.”
“For him to come home and just cry and go to his room and say, ‘I give up.’ I’m not going to let him give up,” she said. “This is his dream. This is what he wants to do. And I’m going to make it happen.”
Mesquite Pee Wee Football Association President Ronnie Henderson told the website he wasn’t pleased with preventing kids from playing, but the league had to stick to the rules. Henderson also said that several players were barred from playing after other Sunday weigh-in sessions.
“We hate it,” he said. “I don’t like it for the kid or the parents.”