Mississippi Sucks

14 11 2010

Photo Credit: Shannon Long, USA Today

Seems to me that Coy Sheppard, 17, just wanted to do like the pros and show his support of the fight against breast cancer.  But the simple act of wearing pink cleats, a gift from his great-grandmother, resulted in his being relieved of his kicking duties on the Mendenhall Tigers team at his Mississippi high school.

Now the October 8 incident has driven the Sheppard family to file a lawsuit against the school district. 

Deputy Superintendent Tom Duncan insists that Sheppard was cut from the football team not for wearing pink cleats, but for directly disobeying the instructions of coach Chris Peterson (who has yet to comment) to remove them.
Duncan emphasized that “it had absolutely nothing to do with lack of support for breast cancer awareness.”

Coy’s father, Joey Sheppard, isn’t buying that.
“He’s had five or six different colored shoes throughout his last two years of kicking for Mendenhall and when he got the pink shoes that’s when it became an issue. I think it is the pink shoes,” he said.

The boy’s mother, JoAnne Sheppard, stressed that Coy had never been in trouble before, and was wearing the cleats in honor of two of his grandmothers who are survivors of the disease.

In addition to the disappointment of not finishing his senior season with the football team, Sheppard faces the possibility of not graduating on time- as he will lose of PE participation credits for being kicked off the team.

The lawsuit asks for Sheppard to be reinstated to the Tigers football team, his record cleared, and for any monetary damages awarded to be given to the American Cancer Society– who have joined forces in recent years with the NFL to raise awareness of the breast cancer cause.

The league decks out players, coaches, and game staff in pink apparel during the month of October, as part of their “Crucial Catch” campaign.  This partnership raised more than $300,000 last year, through the auctioning of special pink NFL paraphernalia- jerseys, gloves, cleats, game balls, and specially-minted pink coins.




2 responses

17 11 2010


21 11 2010

this i use

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