The coach of the Mendocino High School's boys team has vowed to prevent any of his athletes from wearing the shirts during warm-up, according to the Press Democrat.
“They cannot play in the game if they don’t wear their uniform,” coach Jim Young said. “I’m not banning anything. I’m requiring them to wear a uniform.”
A basketball tournament at Fort Bragg High School in California on Monday allowed spectators and players to wear "I Can't Breathe" shirts after initially banning them.
Though the ban was reversed, it came after the Mendocino High School girls basketball team missed their chance to play in the tournament. The ACLU has asked they be reinstated after being denied their constitutional right to free speech.
The girls team was originally disinvited from the tournament hosted by Fort Bragg High School after their players wore the shirts featuring the last words of Eric Garner earlier this month.
Most of the Mendocino boys basketball team had agreed to leave their shirts home. Too many girls refused to budge, however, and their team's slot in the tournament was taken by another school.
On Monday, several students demonstrated outside the high school in protest of the ban. "It was awesome to see our supporters," said Jin Jackson, co-captain of the team. "It went peacefully just like we planned."
In response to the controversy, security officers were placed on hand at the rural high school basketball tournament. Jackson said she hadn't seen security at previous tournaments, and the protesters had little interaction with them.
After demonstrating outside the high school, protesters moved inside the gym.
The girls team members, wearing their "I Can't Breathe" shirts, then cheered on the Mendocino boys team.
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