You’d think if pink cleats were an appropriate way for the NFL to honor Breast Cancer Awareness Month, a high school football team filled with Peyton Manning wannabes would have no problem with them.
Turns out that’s not the case, because a Mississippi high school football player is suing his school district, claiming that his coach kicked him off the team for wearing pink cleats during a game last month.
The suit says that when 17-year-old Mendenhall High School kicker Coy Sheppard got to a game on Oct. 8 wearing rose-colored footwear, coach Chris Peterson gave him a dressing down and told him to take off the shoes. Sheppard refused to do that — the shoes were a gift from his great-grandmother, and he wanted to wear them in honor of his grandmother and step-grandmother surviving breast cancer. His sentimental insubordination got him kicked off the team, and he’s concerned that losing the physical education credit he would have received from playing football will mean he won’t graduate on time.
The school board won’t budge on letting him back onto the team even after a formal apology and pleas from Sheppard’s mother, who says he’s never been in trouble. A school district official told USA Today that Sheppard was kicked off the team for disobeying his coach’s rules, not for supporting Breast Cancer Awareness, and that he could easily make up the PE credit with another class.
Sheppard’s suit asks for him to be allowed back on the team, for his record to be cleared and for any damages to be donated to the American Cancer Society.
For Sheppard’s sake, we wish his coach could appreciate a little pink — and his player’s kind gesture to his family in wearing the cleats. But breaking rules with even the noblest of intentions still leaves those rules broken, and we wouldn’t be surprised if Sheppard had to suffer the full consequences of his decision.
But you be the judge. Do you think the kid should be allowed back on the team? We want to hear your comments!
[Via USA Today]