An ex women's basketball player at Penn State has filed a federal discrimination lawsuit against coach Rene Portland and Pennsylvania State University. The former player, Jennifer Harris, has claimed discrimination by the coach based on race, gender and sexual orientation. Harris, who has left the Lady Lions basketball team and the university, claims that the coach's long time policy of "drinking, no drugs, no lesbians" targets African Americans. Hmmmm.
Harris claims that the Penn State coach ordered her to "look more 'feminine'". Harris' attorneys say that she is not gay but that her coach believed that she was gay.
The coach says that Harris was kicked off the team because she "was disrespectful toward coaches and teammates and alleged that her work ethic was 'unsatisfactory and detrimental to the success of the team.'"
I don't think this lawsuit has legs. Firstly, if Harris is not, in fact, gay, she would have no standing to sue for discrimination against lesbians. There has been no damage done to her. Secondly, claiming that "no drinking, no drugs, no lesbians" is discriminatory against African Americans would be viewed by a federal judge with some dubiety. Thirdly, take a look at the photo below. It is the Lady Lion team receiving their Final Four trophy in 2005. On the left is coach Rene Portland. Moving to your right, we see 3 youngsters, presumably hers. Holding the trophy are two African American players. Standing behind the trophy are two players, one of whom is African American. Further to the right are 6 players, 1 of whom is African American. That's 10 players pictured, four of whom are African American (a nice round 40%).
Like I say, I don't think this lawsuit has legs.
TAGS: Penn State, Lady Lions, Rene Portland, discrimination, race