• Changes could be coming for flag football players told they couldn't play because of their hair

    By: Jamarlo Phillips , Action News Jax

    Updated:

    JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The Sunshine Christian League doesn't allow its players to wear cornrows, twists or dreadlocks but charter member Bruce Armstrong told Action News Jax that could soon change, depending on what individual schools decide.

    Earlier this month the league told parent Amber Cottle that her son could be on the team, but he would not be allowed to play because of his deadlocked hair.

    "Nowadays, you can have long hair, short hair, different color hair and still be clean and professional," his mother, Amber Cottle, said,

    Bruce Armstrong is one of the first charter members of Sunshine Christian League and the senior pastor at West Meadows Baptist Church.

    "Today, our school is almost half African American and over half of my deacons are African Americans in our church," Armstrong said.

    On Tuesday afternoon, Armstrong met with students, parents and coaches at Impact Church.


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    "As difficult as it may be, we want the Lord to be glorified and we need to look at our wording and so we're moving forward to adjust that," said Armstrong.

    According to the Sunshine Christian League's bylaws dying or coloring the tips of the hair and wearing cornrows, twists and dreadlocks are not allowed.

    But Armstrong wants to change that.

    "I think that'll be helpful not just for the SCL, but for those schools that may come in the future," he explained.  

    The Sunshine Christian League said the team was not banned, but that players who violated the rule couldn't play. The team and its parents accused the league of racial discrimination in its rules.

    Armstrong said that, right now, the league is trying to work out a mutual agreement with the school.

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