Corbin football player punished for wearing pink gloves to game

Corbin football player punished for wearing pink gloves to game

Posted:
"My best friend's mother died. She had cancer," said sophomore Austin O'Neill. "My best friend's mother died. She had cancer," said sophomore Austin O'Neill.
O'Neill was disciplined for wearing pink gloves on the field and using a pink towel during a recent game. O'Neill was disciplined for wearing pink gloves on the field and using a pink towel during a recent game.

By MONA NAIR
6 News Reporter

CORBIN, Ky. (WATE) – October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Many people are wearing pink to show support for the effort to stop the disease, including college and professional football players.

A Corbin High School football player is upset because he was disciplined for wearing pink gloves on the field and using a pink towel during a recent game.

School officials say pink gloves go against their uniform policy.

"My best friend's mother died. She had cancer," said sophomore Austin O'Neill, the starting cornerback for the Corbin Redhounds.

O'Neill says he got in trouble with his coach during last Friday's game for wearing pink gloves and bringing a pink towel to the game.

"He told me Friday, 'You'll be lucky if I don't sit you on the bench,'" O'Neill said.

"After the game he looked at him like 'I can't believe you pulled this.' The coach told him he was not wearing them to support the cause, he was wearing those to look cool and stand out," said Austin's dad. Bob O'Neill.

Austin and another player who also wore pink gloves were punished by being made to run a longer distance during practice.

In response, school officials said in a release, "The two students receiving discipline for wearing unapproved pink gloves received the same discipline as other players received for wearing unapproved clothing."

Still, the punishment was a bit much, some said.

"You can certainly understand the school's policy, but from a bigger standpoint we need to do anything we can do to support breast cancer," said Shawn Parker. "Especially this month, a lot of NFL players are supporting it wearing pink."

"It was extreme because it was just a pair of gloves and that's not a big deal. However, he did need to be punished because he broke the rule when he knew what the rule was," said Kristin Fothergill, a basketball player at the school.

School officials also said in their statement that "the wearing of pink to support breast cancer was not mentioned to the coach" at the time the boys got into trouble.

"With a 16-year-old kid and disciplinary action being thrown at them, I can understand how he may have been caught up in the moment and didn't say why right away," Parker said.

School administrators standing by the decision, saying the football team supports breast cancer.

In fact, for the last four years, players have worn a pink emblem on their helmet.

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