Coy Shepard, the Mississippi high school senior who was kicked off the football team for wearing pink cleats, thought the issue was resolved after his family threatened a lawsuit and the school agreed it was actually no big deal for him to wear a lady color on the field, agreeing to reinstate him. But just before Friday night’s game, Coy was told he could not dress for the game. Lawsuit back on!
Simpson County School District officials were going to avoid a discrimination/First Amendment lawsuit by letting Coy back on the time without incident. Except his attorney Oliver Diaz says Coy was told by his Mendenhall High School football coach Chris Peterson he could not take part in Friday’s game. “So not only is this coach making bad decisions, he is also costing the taxpayers of Simpson County a good amount in legal damages,” says Diaz, who’s considering adding an amended complaint to the lawsuit because of the school’s “bad faith” breach of their settlement agreement. (Coach Peterson had hugged Coy after the agreement was reached, welcoming him back to the squad.)
Why the coach would renege on his agreement, and whether it was in consultation with district officials, remains unclear. (Did Coy show up in his pink cleats again?) What is blatantly clear, however, is one teen’s attempt to honor his mother and grandmother — both breast cancer survivors, the latter of whom gave Coy the pink cleats — proved too much for the macho Mississippi football boys.