This matter has been settled, but it's strange that wearing pink cleats to football practice was even a problem in the first place:
According to the suit, filed last week in Simpson County Chancery Court, Mendenhall High School football coach Chris Peterson dressed down Coy Sheppard, a 17-year-old senior kicker, during an Oct. 8 football game for wearing the cleats.
When Sheppard arrived at practice the next week wearing the shoes, Peterson cut him from the squad, says Oliver Diaz, a former state Supreme Court justice representing Coy.[...]
The shoes were a present from Coy's 82-year-old great-grandmother, and he wore them in honor of his grandmother and step-grandmother, both cancer survivors, said his mother, JoAnne Sheppard. She said her son, who also plays soccer and works part time, has never been in trouble before.
Busy with soccer practice and his after-school job, Coy was not available for comment, his mother said. The coach, she said, "belittled" her son. "That's hard from someone you look up to," she said.
The coach said it wasn't about the shoes, but because Coy Sheppard refused to take them off when asked. It's hard to respond to such a stupid statement.
But did I say the matter was settled? It seems the coach isn't letting this one go:
A Mendenhall High School football player was not allowed to suit up in Friday night's game.
It's part of a continuing dispute over his decision to wear pink cleats. Coy Sheppard had sued the school after he was kicked off the team for wearing the cleats.
The school and Sheppard's attorney reached a settlement in which he was supposed to join the team for Friday's game.
Now attorney Oliver Diaz says he is considering an amended lawsuit seeking additional damages. The school district's attorney would not comment.
No one is really saying what this is about, but the first assumption people would make about a coach who has a problem with pink cleats is that he's gender policing his players pretty harshly. You have to wonder what else this guy is doing if he's really willing to kick someone off the team for wearing the color pink.
Either way, the school here isn't even explaining why they are so opposed to these cleats so that probably means there's no good reason other than the random association in America of pink with femininity.
It's strange how a culture that prides itself in being so advanced can work themselves into a real scare over the symbolic value of a color. If this story happened in Africa or Asia or Latin America we'd be treated to commentary about how superstitious the subjects of this story are, as a result of their lack of technology or contact with the outside world or poor educational system, and maybe some gasbagging around the machismo issues with something like "It's important for young men in their culture to be perceived as masculine and elders enforce sacred rules that young people recklessly flout."
But this is American in 2010 and a dude is bothered by a teen wearing the color pink. It's not that unbelievable and we're not all that different.