Famous soccer players are defending an 8-year-old-girl disqualified for her short hair.

Kicked out of a tournament for her short hair, this girl got some major support.

8-year-old Mili Hernandez loves soccer — and keeping her hair cut short.

You wouldn't think those things would be at odds with one another, but bizarrely, they are.

In June, 2017, Mili and her team advanced to the finals of a local tournament in Nebraska. Before they were able to take the field, however, the team was disqualified.


The reason: Organizers believed Mili was a boy because of her short hair. Seriously. Even worse, no amount of proof could convince organizers otherwise, and the tournament has since ended.

Mili Hernandez explains, "When they look at me, they think I'm a boy but I'm really not." Image via 3 News Now/YouTube.

As Mili's story began circulating, some of the biggest stars in women's soccer stepped in with messages of support.

Abby Wambach, one of the greatest (if not the greatest) players in U.S. soccer history, posted messages of support on Twitter and Instagram calling Mili "inspiring" and a "natural-born leader."

"You can do anything you want to do and you can be anything you want to be," says Wambach in an Instagram video. "And guess what? You can look like whatever you need to look like to do it."

Two-time World Cup champion Mia Hamm invited Mili to come visit her at one of her Team First Soccer Academy camps.

From there, support began pouring in from professional soccer stars around the world.

"Guess I should've been disqualified too," wrote Australia's Lydia Williams, who shared a photo of herself with short hair.

"I'll second that" wrote Orlando's Maddy Evans.

England's Rachel Daly added a photo of herself with short hair to Williams response.

As did former American player, Haley Carter, who added the hashtag: #BecauseShortHairStillDoesntCare.

"Keep going Mili," added South African player Janine Van Wyk.

In response to the backlash, tournament organizers have claimed that their decision was actually the result of a misprint on the team's roster and not the result of Mili's haircut.

Regardless of the reason behind the decision, the end result is the same — Mili and her team were banned from playing in the finals of a tournament that is now over. There is no fix here; there is no time to convince the tournament to still let her team play.

It's really unfortunate situation — this is kids soccer we're talking about! — especially since it resulted in so much sadness over something as small as a haircut or a typo.

On the bright side, it brought out some of the world's greatest athletes in support of one very special 8-year-old girl and her very short hair. That's a lesson Mili — and hopefully the tournament organizers — will never forget.  

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Truth

Don't test on animals. That's something we can all agree on, right? No one likes to think of defenseless cats, dogs, hamsters, and birds being exposed to a bunch of things that could make them sick (and the animals aren't happy about it, either). It's no wonder so many people and organizations have fought to stop it. But did you ever think that maybe brands are testing products on us too, they're just not telling us they're doing it?

I know, I know, it sounds like a conspiracy theory, but that's exactly what e-cigarette brands like JUUL (which corners the e-cigarette market) are doing in this country right now, and young people are on the frontlines of the fallout. Most people assume that the government would have looked at devices that allow people to inhale unknown chemicals into their lungs BEFORE they hit the market. You would think that someone in the government would have determined that they are safe. But nope, that hasn't happened. And vape companies are fighting to delay the government's ability to evaluate these products.

So no one really knows the long-term health effects of e-cigarette use, not even JUUL's CEO, nor are they informing the public about the potential risks. On top of that, according to the FDA, there's been a 78% increase in e-cigarette usage among high school and middle school-aged children in just the last two years, prompting the U.S. Surgeon General to officially recognize the trend as an epidemic and urge action against it.

These facts have elicited others to take action, as well.

Truth Initiative, the nonprofit best known for dropping the real facts about smoking and vaping since 2000 through its truth campaign. We don't do PSAs. We also need to update so to explain truth – the nonprofit behind the truth youth smoking prevention campaign – you could also say this in a funny way – best known for sharing the facts about smoking and vaping or pull from some old campaigns. Just layer in a description of truth and who the campaign is., is now on a mission to confront e-cigarette brands like JUUL about the lack of care they've taken to inform consumers of the potential adverse side effects of their products. And they're doing it with the help of animal protesters who are tired of seeing humans treated like test subjects.

The March Against JUUL | Tested On Humans | truth www.youtube.com

"No one knows the long-term effects of JUULing so any human who uses one is being used as a lab rat," says, appropriately, Mario the Sewer Rat.

"I will never stop fighting JUUL. Or the mailman," notes Doug the Pug, the Instagram-famous dog star.

Truth, the national counter-marketing campaign for youth smoking prevention, hopes this fuzzy, squeaky, snorty animal movement arms humans with the facts about vaping and inspires them to demand transparency from JUUL and other e-cigarette companies. You can get your own fur babies involved too by sharing photos of them wearing protest gear with the hashtag #DontTestOnHumans. Here's some adorable inspo for you:

The dangerous stuff is already out there, but with knowledge on their side, young people will hopefully make the right choices and fight companies making the wrong ones. If you need more convincing, here are the serious facts.

Over the last decade, 127 e-cigarette-related seizures were reported, which prompted the FDA to launch an official investigation in April 2019. Since then, over 215 cases of a new, severe lung illness have sprung up all over the country, with six deaths to date. While scientists aren't yet sure of the root cause, the majority of victims were young adults who regularly vaped and used e-cigarettes. As such, the CDC has launched an official investigation into the potential link.

Sixteen-year-old Luka Kinard, a former frequent e-cigarette-user, is one of the many teens who experienced severe side effects. "Vaping was my biggest addiction," he told NowThis. "It lasted for about 15 months of my high school career." In 2018, Kinard was hospitalized after having a seizure. He also had severe nausea, chest pains, and difficulty breathing.

After the harrowing experience, he quit vaping, and began speaking out about his experience to help inform others and hopefully inspire them to quit and/or take action. "It shouldn't take having a seizure as a result of nicotine addiction like I had for teens to realize that these companies are taking advantage of what we don't know," Kinard said.

Teens are 16 times more likely to use e-cigarettes than adults, and four times more likely to take up traditional smoking as a result, according to truth, and yet the e-cigarette market remains virtually unregulated and untested. In fact, companies like JUUL continue to block and prevent FDA regulations, investing more than $1 million in lawyers and lobbying efforts in the last quarter alone.

Photo by Lindsay Fox/Pixabay

Consumers have a right to know what they're putting in their bodies. If everyone (and their pets) speaks up, the e-cigarette industry will have to make a change. Young people are already taking action across the country. They're hosting rallies nationwide and on October 9 as part of a National Day of Action, young people are urging their friends and classmates to "Ditch JUUL." Will you join them?

For help with quitting e-cigarettes, visit thetruth.com/quit or text DITCHJUUL to 88709 for free, anonymous resources.

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Have you ever watched a movie that's so abysmally bad that you wonder how it ever even got made? Where you think, "Hundreds and hundreds of people had to have been directly involved in the production of this film. Did any of them ever think to say, 'Hey, maybe we should just scrap this idea altogether?"

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