The state champion Whitney Young High School girls' basketball team is feeling snubbed after their male counterparts were honored by Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the Chicago City Council last week while their own accomplishments were ignored.
The Whitney Young boys' team attended Thursday's meeting, taking pictures and receiving plaudits from lawmakers, but the girls actually won their championship three weeks before the boys. And despite three championship over the past six years, they've never been invited come to City Hall.
"They felt bad. They felt they were worthy of the same type of thing the boys team gets," the Lady Dolphins' coach Corry Irvin said. "Unfortunately, it sends a message that boys are more worthy of honoring, more worthy of accomplishments, because it's a more popular sport. Girls in general already feel that way."
Ald. Bob Fioretti (2nd) agrees a mistake was made.
"It would have been really something to have honored both teams at the same time. Both the men and women winning, it's unheard of at one school," Fioretti said.
On Monday, the girls' team received a belated invitation to a May City Council meeting.
Whether it was just an afterthought or smart politics, Irvin says his team will take the high road and attend.
"If I don't say something, then who does? How many years does it go on that the girls aren't honored?" Irvin said. "I'm in a position to say something in the hope that something changes. I wouldn't be a good role model for my players if I don't say something."
The Mayor's Office issued the following statement to NBC 5 on Monday regarding the situation:
The intention is to honor the team at the next City Council meeting. One basketball team has been honored at each of the last two meetings -- Morgan Park and Whitney Young boys.