Coy Shepard And His Pink Cleats Turned Away By High School Football Coach. So Much For Avoiding a Lawsuit

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.

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  • gator91

    Does anything good come out of Mississippi?

  • Red Meat

    @gator91: Films on hate <3

  • alan brickman

    The pink clats are considered an advantage for the home team…you can see where one team’s players are better with distinguishing marks on the shoes or uniform..Everyone sportsplayer klnows this…….such a little famewhore…

  • Brian Miller

    Of course, if one notes the constant, nonstop stream of hate news coming out of the state, he’s a “coastal elitist.” /eyeroll

  • Joe

    It takes progressive kids and families like that to move a backwards society forward. I feel bad that he is having to deal with this shit from his school, however, it is bringing to light the issues that school/town have and probably making it more of a conversation than it has been before.

    So while he is going through a tough time, it’s the first steps to having a more open and accepting society.

  • libhomo

    That coach should be facing disciplinary action from the district.

  • ewe

    This is what an ignorant culture promotes. This coach attempted to silence someone because of his own emotional limitations. He should be FIRED. He is a dangerous bully and should not be permitted to influence young people who are more open minded and caring than he is capable of.

  • Matthew

    And Coy wore them for his mother and grandmother for breast cancer awareness, but it turned into a discrimination lawsuit. Even though his sexuality wasn’t disclosed, just because he wore pink he was looked at as gay(weak, feminine in bigot’s eyes). That coach deserves to be fired, not for discriminating twice, but for setting a bad example for the other students that if you even dress in “girlie” shoes you will be segregated and chastised for it.

  • Matthew

    not only for discriminating twice-is what I meant.


    What an absolute bunch of ignorant morons. They see pink and automatically assume something Gay is afoot (pun intended :p)…… Where is the outrage from the women of that community????

  • Rick Gold

    I would love to see that coach go up against a bunch of breast-cancer survivors/activists. Those bitches would cut a bitch!

  • Casey

    I know I’m gonna get pilloried for this, but I have to agree with the ol’ ball coach. I think this entire thing is being viewed out of context. I played football in HS and one game a receiver showed up after spray painting his cleats bright gold. Coach didn’t allow him to play and he was right.
    I realize that Coy’s intentions may have been more noble (breast cancer awareness vs. attention-whoring) but one of the things that people love about football is that it is a team sport. They call the get-up you wear uniforms for a reason. There are plenty of sports that are not team-oriented and allow you to express your individuality through your wardrobe. In football it is ideally supposed to be about the team, not the individual. I think it is reasonable to give the coach the benefit of the doubt that he was trying to uphold this ideal and that the color of the cleats were not an issue, merely the fact they were a different color than the uniform cleats. It is stupid to go for a cash grab against a public school system just because you think you should be able to wear a different uniform than your teammates. Just my humble opinion.

    /puts on flame retardant clothing.

  • CJ Maciejeski

    In regard to the high school, fuck ’em. Kid’s gonna rip ’em a new one in court, and rightly so.

    On a completely different note, who EDITS this shit? Time and team are not the same word. Jesus.

  • Max

    Icould not agree with you more! The kid was out of uniform, intent not withstandin. If i wore a gorilla costume to work I would expect to be sent home.

  • Jamey

    @Casey @Max:

    An earlier article on this situation indicated that he had worn cleats of varying color throughout the season. It wasn’t until he wore the pink cleats that there was an issue, and he was kicked off the team. I don’t think the coach’s issue is with him “being out of uniform.”

  • Max

    i see no reference to any prior articles or verification of a pattern of behavior of this particular student and his colored cleats.

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