Student cut from high school football team for wearing pink cleats

Coy Sheppard, a Mississippi high school student, has filed suit against his school district after he was kicked off the football team for wearing pink cleats.


Oh, and the cleats were given to Sheppard by his great-grandmother and worn in honor of her and Sheppard’s grandmother, both cancer survivors, as part of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

For real.

Apparently the link to breast cancer wasn’t enough to allay coach Chris Peterson’s overwhelming fear of pink. Yes, the deadly emasculating power of this color is so great that even when worn as part of Breast Cancer Awareness Month pink cleats are too great a threat to football to be allowed.

Telling a student he can’t wear pink cleats in honor of cancer survivors in his family is just cruel. Coach Peterson’s wild overreaction is a reminder of just how frightening anything that breaks the incredibly rigid rules of gender can be to binary gender defenders.

Good for Coy Sheppard for standing up to this bullying by a teacher!

Oh, and this is the same state where Constance McMillen was told she couldn’t bring her girlfriend to prom. Seriously, what is going on in Mississippi schools?

Boston, MA

Jos Truitt is Executive Director of Development at Feministing. She joined the team in July 2009, became an Editor in August 2011, and Executive Director in September 2013. She writes about a range of topics including transgender issues, abortion access, and media representation. Jos first got involved with organizing when she led a walk out against the Iraq war at her high school, the Boston Arts Academy. She was introduced to the reproductive justice movement while at Hampshire College, where she organized the Civil Liberties and Public Policy Program’s annual reproductive justice conference. She has worked on the National Abortion Federation’s hotline, was a Field Organizer at Choice USA, and has volunteered as a Pro-Choice Clinic Escort. Jos has written for publications including The Guardian, Bilerico, RH Reality Check, Metro Weekly, and the Columbia Journalism Review. She has spoken and trained at numerous national conferences and college campuses about trans issues, reproductive justice, blogging, feminism, and grassroots organizing. Jos completed her MFA in Printmaking at the San Francisco Art Institute in Spring 2013. In her "spare time" she likes to bake and work on projects about mermaids.

Jos Truitt is an Executive Director of Feministing in charge of Development.

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