When I was a teenager, I was very religious. I also came from a place that held a very high regard for "chivalry." Partially because of these things, I held views and made decisions I would not hold or make today.
I don't like that Salon published this story. I read Salon, but I'm always aware that their articles are generally intended as grist for the liberal mill. They're intended to incite liberals and point out conservative idiocy/hypocrisy.
Not that I'm striking some faux-centrist "above it all" pose. I'm liberal. I read Salon because I like those stories!
In this case, though, the person whose words are put under the microscope for scrutiny and, ultimately, ridicule is a 16 year old boy of Pentecostal upbringing having to deal with a situation none of his peers in the state have ever had to deal with before (and, we should mention, with his pastor elbowing his way into the story with his medieval views about touching women in "familiar ways"). Sure, he made a decision I would not make, and made it based on moral/religious premises with which I strongly disagree. Nevertheless, he's 16 years old. He's just a kid. Does he deserve to be strung up by a nationally read magazine for failing to completely re-examine his beliefs and those of his parents, his home, and his church, with his pastor and Lord knows who else whispering nonsense about women in his ear the whole time, all before his 17th birthday? How many of us are ok with being held to account for our teenage beliefs and choices?
That being said, it sucks for the girl that she's not being allowed to prove herself and participate in the tournament she qualified for fair and square. You want to write that story? Cool, but make it about her.