The Ron Kovac Incident (yep, we went ahead and gave it a name) sends Stargirl's popularity plummeting into the abyss. Let's take a closer look:
Ron Kovac is the star basketball player from nearby Sun Valley High. He is an insurmountable obstacle to Mica High's basketball team. The guy is 6'8" and scores at least thirty points per game. We're talking NBA caliber playing here. In their playoff game against Sun Valley, Mica is losing, and things are looking bleak. That is, until Ron falls and crack! go the bones of his foot. The poor kid is writhing on the floor in serious pain.
Stargirl, who feels the suffering of all those around her, immediately runs to comfort him. She places his head in her lap and appears to be talking to him as the officials work on fixing his foot. This seems like the nice thing to do, but it ends up ruining her reputation. Just how it does so is a bit more complicated.
See, without Kovac, Mica is able to make a comeback and win, so the students of Mica High are pretty pumped. However, once they finally lose to another team a few days later, the students at Mica High recall Stargirl's behavior toward Ron, and blame her so-called traitorous actions on their loss. It's not logical, of course, but hey, who said students were logical?
The Ron Kovac Incident reminds us that Stargirl is unwilling to box herself into one group. She sees herself as a cheerleader for all humanity, and therefore she doesn't understand feeling the need to be loyal to one particular group or team. She enjoys herself when anyone wins, and she shares in the joy of the moment. Likewise, she hates it when anyone gets hurt, and she definitely feels others' pain.