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Monday 22 September 2014

Coach bars teen from team after growing hair for cancer charity

Published 05/05/2014 | 14:44

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A Canadian teenager has been barred from his baseball team after growing his hair as part of a project to make wigs for children with cancer.

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Liam Nazarek has been refused to play for his local team, Picher Creek Juniors, because he went against his coach’s demands that to keep his hair short.

The 16 year-old from Alberta sat the season opener last Wednesday on the bench and coach Bryan Mackenzie has said he cannot play for the team as long as his hair remains uncut.

Mackenzie has been coaching the team for seven years and says his decision comes down to basic respect for the game.

“To me, the hair issue is part of the uniform,” he said.

“It's like the hat. It's like the jersey. It's all part of the appearance and that's important to me, to have respect for yourself and for your other team mates.” he added.

In a video of the exchange, Nazarek’s mother Kimberly Jorgenson is heard questioning the coach's decision, saying “Hair is not a rule in baseball.”

The coach remains unrelenting but the video has won widespread support for the teenager since Jorgensen posted it on Facebook.

The Pincher Creek Minor Baseball Association has issued a statement saying it has no problem with Mackenzie's rule, adding that the situation escalated due to “inappropriate use of social media”.

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