12-Year-Old Banned From Wearing Pink Gloves to Support Mom’s Fight Against Breast Cancer — Is It Fair?
Julian Connerton, a football player on the Egg Harbor City Crusaders in New Jersey, wanted to show support for his mother as she battles breast cancer by wearing pink gloves during his game. When Connerton's coach told him he could not play if he wore the pink gloves rather than the required black last Saturday night, he promptly quit.
Louis Barrios, of the Crusaders Youth Athletic League Association's board of directors, said Julian’s coach, Paul Burgan, did not realize why the 12-year-old had elected to wear pink gloves, something pro players do to show support for breast cancer awareness. Players are permitted wear pink in October, which is breast cancer awareness month, but not beyond.
"It was strictly a uniform situation," Barrios said. "No one knew that there was a personal reason why the kid wanted to wear the gloves. … The game was ready to begin in minutes, and it was a communication issue. There was a storm. It was chaotic."
Connerton's mother, Mayra Cruz-Connerton, said the coach should have known, that her condition was no secret. She said the board of directors spoke to her family and was planning to apologize during a Sunday-night meeting, but it was canceled.
Mason Wright, the athletic director of Egg Harbor, stated that gloves are part of the team's uniform, which must adhere to certain appearance standards. But whether or not color matters is debatable. "To be honest, that much detail has never come up before," Wright said.
While uniform rules are standard in sports of all ages, denying a boy the chance to support his mother by wearing pink gloves seems fairly ridiculous. The Crusaders should invite Julian back to the team, pink gloves and all.