MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The attorney for a Southwest Miami-Dade student-athlete has announced her intention to file a lawsuit against the Florida High School Athletic Association.
She hopes to overturn a football ban and a decision that would have Luther Johnson V miss half the lacrosse season at Christopher Columbus High School.
“Whatever it takes, I’ll be there for my team,” Johnson said. “I want to be able to make the decision to say ‘oh, I want to stop playing football. Oh, I want to stop playing lacrosse.”
In a news conference Friday, his attorney said this all started back in March. During lacrosse, a player on the opposing team used racial slurs against the Johnson. Things then became physical and Johnson was not allowed to play for 5 weeks.
The following month, while playing a different team, a penalty was called against Johnson and he was then banned from all athletics.
After a hearing with the Florida High School Athletic Association, the decision was changed to a football ban and missing half the lacrosse season.
“Having Luther miss the senior season will be devastating for his recruitment for college to play athletics,” Head Football Coach Dave Dunn said.
Johnson’s coach came to his defense.
“We are trying to save him from being a statistic that so many of our young men are made out to be,” Attorney Rawsi Williams said.
The teen’s attorney is also questioning the reason football is impacted.
“So, since football is first in time, you just sit that out. We cannot allow that to happen,” the attorney said.
The attorney said they’ve gone through the appeals process with the association which is why they now want a judge involved. She says there should be hearing this month and she hopes the teen will be allowed on the field while the lawsuit plays out in court.
Right now, Johnson said his teammates are helping him stay positive.
“They ask me if I need help with anything. How’s my life going? How am I handling this situation? I always tell them I’m doing good and I’m just ready to get back on that field,” he said.
The Florida High School Athletic Association says it doesn’t comment on active cases or what may be an active case.