Forget about being openly gay in Mississippi. Apparently, guys aren't even allowed to wear pink.
A Mendenhall High School football player claims in a lawsuit that he was kicked off the football team for wearing pink cleats, which his great-grandmother bought him to honor female family members who have struggled with breast cancer, in line with the National Football League’s own campaign to increase awareness of the disease.
[...] “At halftime Coach (Chris) Peterson made it clear that he did not approve of Coy’s new cleats,” the lawsuit says. “He began to berate the kicker in front of the team for wearing the pink cleats. Despite this verbal abuse from the coach, Coy proudly finished the game wearing the cleats purchased for him by his great-grandmother, kicking several additional extra points. Coy’s family was proud of his accomplishments, and for having the courage to honor his family and take this public stand.”
[...] At the first football practice after the game, the lawsuit says, Peterson demanded that Sheppard remove the pink cleats. Sheppard, who had no other shoes, promised he would not wear the pink cleats to the next practice. Peterson, the suit says, made Sheppard turn in his helmet and leave the field. In tears the next day, Sheppard apologized to the coach, staff and players for wearing the pink cleats, according to the lawsuit. He promised never to wear them again.
“Stubbornly,” the lawsuit says, “Coach Peterson refused the apology and refused to reinstate Coy to the football team. As a result, Coy was kicked off the football team in his senior year, with graduation put at risk if he loses the school credits he receives for playing football.”
Just the fact that you get school credits for playing football tells you everything you need to know about Mississippi's educational system... but really? You're gonna boot the kicker off the team for wearing pink cleats? In a sport where convicted felons routinely get college scholarships and multi-million dollar signing bonuses?